Performative Science - Sonification

by Hans H. Diebner

Music and Sound, respectively, seen as a "symbolic dynamics" can contribute to the understanding of complex dynamical systems. Particularly in the 1980s and 1990s several attempts have been made to represent nonlinear dynamical systems by means of symbolic dynamics, in order to learn more about the dynamics. In the case of the well-known Lorenz attractor assume the following simple symbolic discrete time series represention: record "0", if the current state is located in the right wing of the attractor and keep "1", if it is located in left wing, thus obtaining a "0-1-time series". If now, for example, different "beats" corresponding to the "0"s and the "1"s are generated, one obtains a rhythm as an acoustic aspect of the Lorenz system. The thus generated auditive display can add new meaningful aspects of the dynamics to the otherwise merely visual-based approach in science.

Sven Sahle created some interesting sound examples of chaotic systems which can be found on an audio CD included in the book "Sciences of the Interface" (Genista, 2000). Sahle also produced the CD contained in Gerold Baier's book "Rhythmen - Tanz in Körper und Gehirn" published by Rowohlt Verlag 2002. The CD contains amazing sonifications of physiological signals like heart rhythms and EEG signals. We appreciate Gerold Baier's and Sven Sahle's collaboration.

Sound Tracks:

The following list contains the "Sound TrackS" for a paper by Gerold Baier and Sven Sahle presented in "Sciences of the Interface":
Track 2: The rhythm of a single chaotic rossler system
Track 3: Two of those systems independent from each other
Track 4: Two rossler systems diffussively coupled in a phase locked chaotic state
Track 5: Experimental data from a biochemical reaction

The Institute for Basic Research als supervised the following sonification projects: SOL and ANTARKTIKA. Please check it out.

Sites on Sonification:

Sonifications by Florian Grond
ICAD-International Community for Auditory Displays
The Sonification Handbook