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Raising Environmental Awareness through Songs of the Oceans


Malloy with the oil drum used in his musical performances. Credit: Colin Malloy

For many people, few sounds are as relaxing as ocean waves. But the voice of the sailor can also convey deeper feelings and raise awareness about pollution.

At the upcoming 184th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Colin Malloy of Ocean Network Canada will present his method for turning ocean data into captivating rhythmic singles. The “Sonification of Ocean data in Art-science” lecture was held on Wednesday, May 10th.

To compose his compositions, Malloy uses sound from underwater microphones, called hydrophones, and introduces elements inspired by ocean-related data such as temperature, acidity, and oxygen. Listeners can find shows of Malloy’s music at Youtube.

In his article Oil and Water, Malloy accounts for the impact of oil production on the oceans. He plays an eerily catchy melody on steel drums and makes noises to represent oil production over the past 120 years. Entries increase throughout the piece to mimic the increased production of recent years. Near the end of the song, it uses oil consumption data as an oscillator for a synthesizer.

Oil and Water // solo for steel, percussion, and electronics. Credit: Colin Malloy

By representing data in this way, he hopes his music will encourage listeners to think about meaning and the medium.

“Art helps people digest information on an emotional level that they may not be in normal science communication,” Malloy said. “I hope that when listening to these pieces, people use them as a space to think about what each piece is trying to portray. Ultimately, I’d like them to help create awareness of the different issues surrounding oceans.”

The field called ArtScience encourages scholars and artists to learn from each other about connection, communication, and science. Ocean Network Canada’s artist-in-residence program recruits artists to work with scientists, engage in research, and connect with a larger cultural audience.

Malloy, who has an educational background in mathematics, computer science, and music, believes that working in the balance of science and art provides him with a unique perspective.

“There’s a lot more art to science and a lot more science to art—more than most people realize either way,” Malloy said.

more information:
Main meeting location: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/

Technical program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING23&proof=true

Provided by the American Vocal Society

the quote: How Oceans Songs Raise Environmental Awareness (2023, May 10) Retrieved May 10, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-songs-oceans-environmental-awareness.html

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