Sonification of Fish Movement Using Pitch Mesh Pairs

Mercer-Taylor, Andrew and Altosaar, Jaan

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

On a traditional keyboard, the actions required to play a consonant chord progression must be quite precise; accidentally strike a neighboring key, and a pleasant sonority is likely to become a jarring one. Inspired by the Tonnetz (a tonal diagram), we present a new layout of pitches defined using low-level harmonic notions. We demonstrate the potential of our system by mapping the random movements of fish in an aquarium to this layout. Qualitatively, we find that this captures the intuition behind mapping motion to sound. Similarly moving fish produce consonant chords, while fish moving in non-unison produce dissonant chords. We introduce an open source MATLAB library implementing these techniques, which can be used for sonifying multimodal streaming data.