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Cosmic rays are produced in unknown places deep in the universe, millions of which randomly hit the Earth every second. This has happened throughout the history of the solar system; however, the rays were only discovered after the advent of technologically advanced radiation detectors.
The team aim to explore and develop an intelligence-based response to cosmic rays via musical performance, composition, sonification, computer visualisation, and VR. This will involve creating a virtual environment based upon the interior of a cosmic ray detector and transmuting the data into immersive audio-visual experiences.
Through this, the project aims to activate curiosity around the fascinating subjects of astrophysics, particle physics and related research at King’s College London through the development of a short film and installation processing data in real time.
Teppei Katori is an experimental particle physicist and a reader at the Department of Physics at King’s. His research includes study of elementary particles called neutrinos, and he uses data from large neutrino detectors all over the world to study properties of neutrinos
Christo Squier is a multi-disciplinary artist, composer, performer and creative producer. He is artistic director of multi-award winning ensemble Perhaps Contraption. While artists-in-residence at Snape Maltings (2017-19) they created a theatrical experience based on astronomy. Christo has also worked with groundbreaking companies including Les Enfants Terribles, Punchdrunk and Secret Cinema.
Blog written by the project team
Using data from the Super Kamiokande observatory, Teppei and Christo are developing a process to capture the data as a visual and musical experience.
These are some initial images, mock-ups of the Super Kamiokande data transformed into a visual experience, made by Christo and digital artist friend Daniel Ross.
The software used here is pulling live data from Super Kamiokande, a huge neutrino observatory located under Mount Ikeno in Japan. The observatory is designed to detect high-energy neutrinos.
These images show the neutrino data translated into a visual model in 3D.
This is a short video of Christo’s first 'jam' with the software running - very quick and simple musically, the first results of experimenting.
Building a real time 3D representation, the cylinder of Super Kamiokande is broken up into 12 ‘slices’ each representing a note.
Height = pitch
Intensity of cosmic ray activity = loudness
The software pulls this data and converts it into MIDI format, which is sent to Christo’s music software. With the MIDI, Christo can trigger and manipulate the sounds however he wishes, but all of the chords / notes are generated live by Super Kamiokande.
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