Weather Art/Music





Weather Music

While sitting on the porch, listening to the wind chimes, I wondered if there was a way I could make music by correlating changes in wind speed with certain musical elements via MIDI. For example, when wind speed increases, tempo increases; or when wind speed increases, volume increases. There would be many possibilities because you could correlate any meteorological event with any musical event.

A program could be written whereby you could compose different sets of rules and the music would be automatically generated according to those rules. You could save them as presets, such as "sunny and warm" or "bitter cold and windy" or "storm approaching". Using a portable weather monitoring unit, weather data could be collected and fed into the music real time. If there is a way to radio transmit the data, it would be possible to monitor weather from some remote location, say at the seaside, where the inclement conditions would sometimes make a manual collecting of data a bit nconvenient. Otherwise, the unit could be set up in your backyard and used as a way to "hear" the weather conditions (based upon the rules you have set of course.)

A global organization could also be formed where people from all over the world would share their "Weather Music". Or some annual event, say the Summer Solstice, could be used as an opportunity to use the conditions preceding and following the event as a controlling data set to generate music.

A foundation or organization could be formed (similar to the Millennium Clock project), where musicians, meteorologists, and people from other disciplines can all participate. I have always had an interest in how the arts intersect with science, and my vision of Weather Music is something that we can all participate in.

I have been brainstorming on how all of this might actually work, with an eye toward making some meaningful connection between weather and sound. I am trying to avoid making a system that makes irritating sounds, in favor of a system that produces listenable music.

(1999)

#2017