[microsound] The sound of the Dog Particle and bad science.
lsutton at libero.it
Thu Jun 24 07:45:12 EDT 2010
hanks for the link and insight... Anyway lsitening to one of the
examples, and reading "convert data expected from collisions at the LHC
into sounds" it was pretty clear that one could really obtain "anything"
depending on how/what you map the data to sound parameters.
There is a big difference between "the sound of something" and "mapping
data to sound" (aka sonification). Writing "converting data to sound"
seems confusing and a little misleading because in my opinion it implies
that the conversion direct (like converting Km to miles).
Nothing against sonification of course, but I do agree with you that the
way it's presented is too sensationalistic.
And you couldn't have described better the news-makers' attitude, pity
for the 'scientists'... Of course the sounds also sound very 'sci-fi' if
you get what I mean, which helps to sell it even better.
> No doubt the recent to items of news has grasped some attention from
> the community, that is, " The sound of the God Particle" which is
> weird, as they haven;t found it yet...am I missing something ?
> and the more credible, the music of the sun spots etc at......which I
> can;t find right now. This sound more interesting.
> I contacted LHCsound to chat how they had done it. After a couple of
> email exchanges with them, I couldn't help feeling that it is a good
> example of sensationalizing science under the hood of "sonification"
> of scientific data. They were very cagey about sharing any scientific
> data on how they had done it, but on closer inspection...
> It turns out it is mostly some pretty basic algorhythmic pops at some
> General MIDI instruments....yuk!. There is some aural references to
> early microsound, but the outcome strikes as very interpreted and
> subjective. It is ironic that music, especially microsound has been
> critized for it materialist associations(Sound Particles and
> Microsonic Materialism), yet here we have a nice reversal. Scientists
> and newsmakers tryiing to "palatize" and mystize sciene as nature's
> I would be interested to see how others saw the news.
> Maybe we could have a little short project again and show scientist
> how it could be done, "the sound of the Dog particle" :-)
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