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“Data-driven: How scientific data-sonification changed the way I think about music”

Can non-speech audio can convey meaning?  Using her recent collaboration with CERN physicist Lily Asquith on Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data as a jumping-off point, Scaletti tells the story of how the search for the Higgs Boson influenced the music she created for Gilles Jobin’s dance piece QUANTUM and how working with scientists to sonify their data unexpectedly ended up changing the way she thinks about music.

Recommended Background Reading:
• “Sonification of the world,” an essay on data sonification at Ear to the Earth
• "Music and the Flow of Meaning,” chapter from Mark Johnson’s book The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding, University of Chicago Press. 2007: pp 235-262

Carla Scaletti is an experimental composer and entrepreneur, designer of the Kyma sound design language and co-founder of Symbolic Sound Corporation. Her compositions always begin with a “what-if” hypothesis and involve live electronics interacting with acoustic sources and environments.  Educated at the University of Illinois (DMA, MCS), she studied composition with Salvatore Martirano, John Melby, Herbert Brün and Scott Wyatt and computer science with Ralph Johnson, one of the Design Patterns “Gang of Four.”  Last year she was an invited lecturer at GVA Sessions — a workshop involving choreographers, filmmakers, and particle physicists from CERN — and was invited to present a keynote address at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2015). She has been a guest lecturer at Centre de Crèation Musical Iannis Xenakis (CCMIX) in Paris, and co-organizes the annual Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS), this year on the theme “Emergence”, at De Montfort University in Leicester UK.  For more information: