Ocean Memory Project

In spring 2021, I participated in a workshop for the Ocean Memory Project, explorating ecological processes through sonification.

Coral reef data measuring gene expression in response to temperature fluctuations over a 17-day period was sonified by applying techniques of Parameter Mapping Sonification (PMSon).

The synthesis engine selected was a four-formant vocal synthesis instrument from the Synthesis Toolkit. Gene expression measurements were scaled within an optimally discernable frequency range (100-1000Hz). The first derivative was mapped to frequency cutoff of a resonant filter (200-2000Hz). The second derivative was mapped to vibrato gain, the third derivative mapped to vibrato frequency. The fourth derivative was mapped to stereo panning.

With these parameters in place, the temperature spike on days 7 and 8 can clearly be perceived, as well as the resulting “memory” of the incident in the days afterward.

This project was presented on April 9, 2021 at the Sound As Ocean Memory concert at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)