16 April 2021
Three centuries ago, Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi wrote one of the most popular compositions of classical music: Le Quattro Stagioni ("The Four Seasons"). The representation of seasonal patterns in music brought along a revolution in musical conception. Vivaldi's arrangement consisted of a total of four concertos, each named after the season it expressed.
La Primavera ("Spring") represents flowing creeks and the chirping of birds, L'estate ("Summer") expresses the merciless heat of the sun, L'autunno ("Autumn") celebrates the rich harvests and mild air, finishing the concerto with the icy snow of L'inverno ("Winter").
On the three-hundredth anniversary of Vivaldi's masterpiece, this project asks the listener to interact with their understanding of seasonal changes in a more personal way, and to engage with a tangible representation of our changing climate.
Meteorological Data Sonification
The Maximilian library (OpenFrameworks) allows for the computation of code-written compositions where these weather variables can be used. The program accesses weather data through API's such as OpenWeatherMap, and applies these metrics to the generated composition.
The audio-synthesis can either be played on the device by using the built-in 3.5mm audio-jack, or transmitted through a server to the web. The latter would complicate the project but allow for world-wide access, as well as offer interesting possibilities such as using the browser as a medium for a visual representation of the composition.
This project utilises contemporary technologies such as sonification, real-world quantification, and computation. The goal is for the music to show significant differences in its composition between summer and winter, and between a rainy day and a sunny day, allowing listeners to perceive weather in an audible format.