February 12, 2010

Brainwave: Music of Exoplanets

It's not often that Art and Science converges on something that integrates exoplanets with music. Thus, blogging about the Art and Science of New Worlds renders me captive to an event where I will get a chance to be inspired by Greg Laughlin who created a software that generates music from planetary orbits. And to boot, I will learn more about Philip Glass, the renowned composer of Kepler and Galileo Galilei who will interpret the sound of the musica universalis.

Laughlin said he and Glass will explore commonalities between music and orbital dynamics. The pairing of the two was sparked in part by Laughlin’s articles on his blog oklo.org that delve into ways to "sonify" planetary movements. He developed software to map planetary systems as audible waveforms. He said he became intrigued by the realization that planetary systems can be used as a type of nonlinear digital synthesizer and can provide an enormous palette of sound -- sounds never before heard.

Thus, the Laughlin/Glass Brainwave session appealed to me especially that ive been exploring a genre of music tagged as exogazing music--similar in the kind of mood that shoegazing elicits, but instead of looking down, one looks up at the stars.
Exogaze music is ideally the kind of music to accompany a stargazer while pondering exoplanetary thoughts.

With the synthesis of exoplanets and music, hearing about the Brainwave event is truly music to my ears, so I almost instantly secured a ticket at the Rubin Museum to witness this awesome synthesis of Art and Science. I would soon expect astronomy inclined musicians to insert clips and samples generated from exoplanet orbits into their songs to literally create exogazing music!

How Do We Listen to the Music of the Spheres?
Composer Philip Glass + astronomer Greg Laughlin
Rubin Museum of Art · 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY
Sunday February 21, 6:00 p.m.