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Science Meets Art: An evening of Sonification and Music

  • - (AEST)
  • National Art School
    156 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia

Dr Mark Temple from Western Sydney University uses audio for science data analyses. As a former musician who played drums with Indie rock band The Hummingbirds, Mark began turning human DNA sequences into audio by assigning each genetic letter to a computer-generated musical note. The audio sonically represents various genomic features. Mark has sonifed the Coronavirus genome and more recently genes in Myrtle rust.

Myrtle rust is a plant pathogen causing much environmental havoc in Australian native plants.

Short talks will be presented by three principal academics and discussions will be led by Sunanda Creagh (The Conversation). 

Dr Mark Temple will play multimedia examples sonified audio and discuss its intersection with music. 

Dr Cameron Webb (University of Sydney) makes music inspired by the sounds of wetlands and has released albums with his Seaworthy recording project. Cameron will talk and present his audio recordings and perform music to this. 

Dr Julian Knowles (Macquarie University) is a composer and performer, specialising in new and emerging technologies. Julian will present his data sonification work and perform music to this.

There will be a full ensemble performance of music to accompany the science audio, including tracks from the album CoronaCode Music performed by:

  • Dr Mark Temple Drums and biological sequences
  • Dr Michael Bain (UNSW) Synthesiser
  • Dr Tim Byron (UOW) Keyboards
  • Dr Julian Knowles Guitar
  • Paul Scott Bass
  • Freya Schack-Arnott Cello
  • Phillippa Murphy-Haste Clarinet/Viola
  • Nick Calligeros Trumpet

Media quotes

  • “this is just amazing” NPR 
  • “beautiful and ethereal music” New Scientist
  • “turned the coronavirus genome into a musical masterpiece” Science Line
  • “as cool as it sounds” 3MBS Fine Music
  • “surprisingly lovely music” The Conversation
  • “a unique composition” Limelight magazine
  • “surprisingly chirpy, certainly melodic” The Wire (2SER)
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