The Grid presents: ‘The Sound of Tweets’ at SC’11

Today Domenico Vicinanza from DANTE presented a new grid-enabled musical composition in a special performance live from the Supercomputing’11 exhibition in Seattle. For this piece, Domenico transformed all the tweets tagged with #SC11 between 11:00 and 11:15 (Seattle time) into one beautiful piece of music using his sonification technique.

But how does that work?

“Sonification, in general terms, is the acoustic counterpart of the graphical data representation,” Domenico explains. “In other words, it is the representation of data or by means of audible information.”

Domenico attributed a specific musical note to each letter of the alphabet and assigned a duration to the notes – vowels lasted a quaver (1/8) and consonants a semiquaver (1/16). The data was sent via the Scinet (the Supercomputing event’s network) to the European Grid Infrastructure, via the GÉANT network, and analysed by a grid-enabled sonification package available on the GILDA infrastructure.

You can hear a sample of the resulting musical piece in this mp3 file. And in a few weeks we’ll update this news item with a video of the presentation Domenico gave at the event, featuring the full-length performance.