Solar Eclipses 1500 – 1512

Herewith, a proof of concept sample from my sonifying of data documenting solar and lunar eclipses over the past 1000 years.

I programmed the Max For Live device, and the Kontakt instruments (inc. e-bow autoharp, tuned wine glasses), but the music was made entirely by the magnitude, duration and location of the moon in relation to the sun and the earth, at the beginning of the 16th century.

The initial work on this project – during which I worked closely with The Engineer to understand data and visual programming – has been made possible with an invaluable contribution from Help Musicians UK’s Fusion Fund.

The dataset includes information relating to the time and duration of each event, as well as information about the magnitude, classification, latitude, longitude and altitude.

The data is parsed, scaled and assigned to various patches to transform the information into midi readable parameters. These are then assigned to individual instruments and exported to multiple audio channels within Live.

A simple UI offers information on the event being heard, and functionality enabling access to individual VST instruments to assign other sample libraries and tweak parameters to taste.


Work continues…


eclipse image attribution : Dawulee [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]