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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Concerto for a Changing Climate

a musician developed a cello concerto for our warming planet

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, July 5, 2013/Categories: sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change

If music was being written to accompany our warming climate, a solo cello concerto is a good start. Daniel Crawford, a University of Minnesota music student, in collaboration with the University's Institute on the Environment, used his cello to communicate temperature data over a 130 year time-line.

Climate change is typically illustrated by charts and maps showing yearly changes in temperatures. Using data gathered since the 1880's, the young musician took a different approach and used data sonification to convert the temperature records into musical notes. The result was Song for our Warming Planet, created as part of his internship with the Institute's geography professor.

As Crawford commented: "climate change is a defining issue for our generation and it's still not something that many people understand."




Visualization of 'big data' is increasingly important as volumes of scientific measurements are gathered by multiple technologies. Combining art and science via music is a perfect way to communicate the importance of the underlying information.

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