Friday, February 17, 2012

From Meteorology to Music

A scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research wrote about my work 'Chinook', which is being premiered on Wednesday! His blog entry is here; it's a fun read. One of the things I love most about being a composer is an opportunity to collaborate, and this piece definitely a fun collaboration. I spoke with Jeff Weber, a meteorologist, about weather patterns in Boulder, and his graphs helped me plot out a lot of the musical structures in the piece. It was also a pleasure to film the piece up at the NCAR site, in their gorgeous 'backyard' of the science facilities!

Perhaps in the future I'll be writing a string quartet based on real-time data of hurricanes, the arms of the storm turned into varying pitches and timbres based on wind speed, rain, and pressure. Scientists have developed a program (originally for the sight-impaired but curiously useful in other ways), that turns weather data into musical tones! Right now it sounds like crude MIDI but I think I could elaborate this into a fully-formed work. The perfect string quartet for this would of course be Tesla Quartet, with its scientific and electrical connections. Commencing brainstorming: now.

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