Abstract

To work flexibly with the sound design for The Locust Wrath, a multimedia dance performance on the topic of climate change, the author developed software for interactive sonification of climate data. An open-ended approach to parameter mapping allowed tweaking and improvisation during rehearsals, resulting in a large range of musical expression. The sonifications represented weather systems pushing through Southeast Asia in complex patterns. The climate was rendered as a piece of electroacoustic music, whose compositional form—gesture, timbre, intensity, harmony, spatiality—was determined by the data. The article discusses aspects of aesthetic sonification, reports the process of developing the present work and contextualizes the design decisions within theories of cross-modal perception and listening modes.

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