The following will describe how we created the piece Good Fences Make Good Neighborhoods
for the San Francisco Urban Prototyping festival. This piece was a data sonification
of various pieces of information about the city. What is a data sonification? That's when you interpret data through sound rather than visuals. For instance, an EKG or a fire alarm is a data sonification of sorts. We wanted to make something that sounded cool, though, so we took some data about San Francisco that was compelling and available and ran it through our compositional filters.
Why would we do this? Well, the UP festival focuses on quick ideas to make cities better through constant engagement, and we (that is Emily Shisko
and Shane Myrbeck
) thought that we could create an engaging piece that explored information about San Francisco through a different sensory modality than we're used to. Certain aspects of perception of sound, like the ability to experience
patterns rather than just see them, the detailed temporal resolution, its immersive nature if presented properly, etc, make it an interesting method of conveying information. Hopefully, the result was a unique and engaging experiment!