Case Studies

Exeter VSimulator - Sonification and Translating Human Motion Vibration into Music

Following an award of a Creative Fellowship 2020, the Exeter VSimulator was used to capture vibration data for translation into a musical score. The video at the bottom of this page gives more information on the project and the outcomes.

Musician and scientist Domenico Vicinanza worked with Dr Genevieve Williams, a Lecturer in Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter and Julie Lewis-Thompson, Commercial Manager for VSimulators, as part of a Creative Fellowship researching movement co-ordination and changes in movement patterns. Musician and scientist Domenico Vicinanza has worked with organisations such as CERN and NASA creating music from scientific data. Always fascinated by how music and science are in a continuous quest for harmony, he is one of the pioneers of data sonification for scientific and artistic purposes. Since the end of the 1990s, he has supported scientists in different fields, from hydrobiology to cosmology, from earth science to particle physics, providing, through sound, different perspectives to their data.

December 2019

In December 2019, Domenico visited the Exeter facility with Genevieve, where he captured data directly from the VSimulator and translated it into an arrangement for a string quartet. He explored data from this unique human-structure interaction, in order to create an engaging creative representation using sound. This will seek to widen public engagement in the VSimulators project and human factors research, and create an enduring legacy of practice in this science field.

Click on this link to listen to the VSimulators Quartet Prelude created by Domenico using vibration data taken from the facility.

March 2020

In March 2020, Domenic returned to VSimulators to obtain further data, from which he created three experimental pieces extracting different parts of the data and interpreting them in three very unique ways.

Click on this link to listen to VSimulators Continuous Flow, which is based on extracting regular patterns from the wave form, mapping them to a music scale and sharing them between piano and harp.

Click on this link to listen to VSimulators Synergy, an experimental piece created by identifying individual musical notes from a recording Domenico did with a contact microphone located on the platform. This is played using a marimba and a harp. By contrast VSimulators Audio is an experimental piece about the richness of the vibrations. The complex waveforms captured by the sensors have been filtered with special harmonic sieves seeking chords, melody fragments and harmonies. In some ways this piece best communicates the smoothness of VSimulators and its majestic, fluid and elegant oscillation.

Musical Score

A musical score is available to download and is suitable for those at ABRSM Grade 1 or above. To obtain the score or for more information, and to hear the music translated for the string quartet, please see the following stories on the University of Exeter Arts & Culture website:

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