Networked_Music_Review

Weaving Baskets and Making Music from Weather Data

weather.jpgVia wired.com: Nathalie Miebach uses data from meteorological and astronomical instruments and ecological surveys to create sculptures and music. The chosen medium for Miebach’s work is basket-weaving, because it presents a three-dimensional grid on which to plot raw numbers. The dimensions, shape and orientation of the basket also depend very much on the data. “I never know what the shape will be beforehand, which often leaves me scratching my head,” said Miebach, in an interview with the Peabody Essex Museum.

Miebach likes to collect the data herself, spending hours and days in the field trying to understand complex, dynamic relationships between different variables in an environment. The key, she says, often isn’t to examine the numbers on the instrument — it’s to observe the different things that are going on around you.

More recently, Miebach has begun turning the data into sheet music too: “These pieces are not only devices that map meteorological conditions of a specific time and place, but are also functional musical scores to be played by musicians.

“While musicians have freedom to interpret, they are asked not to change the essential relationship of the notes to ensure that what is still heard is indeed the meteorological relationship of weather data.”

Miebach will be exhibiting her work between now and next year, at various US galleries. It’s also included in a book titled Data Flow 2: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design, available now from Amazon.

For those interested in sound from weaving from ecological data, see
Carrie Bodle, Sewing Sonifications Performance.


Sep 7, 2010
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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