…An astrophysicist in Japan had seen one of the company’s music videos and got in touch to ask for help with translating ALMA’s findings into something people could connect with more viscerally. PARTY’s solution was to turn ALMA’s data into a celestial music box of sorts. More specifically, they used radio wave data gathered from R Sculptoris, a red giant star 1,5000 light years away that’s in the process of going supernova, and figured a simple way to translate it into a music. PARTY essentially wrote a melody for a dying star.
ALMA listens to the electromagnetic radiation that comes from the stars and pieces that data together to figure out what’s going on in outer space. PARTY took the data recorded from R Sculptoris and mapped it directly to circular disks that could be played on the holiday symphonium music box the team made. They drilled holes you see on the discs are the points at which the signal is strongest, and that determines which note is played. “It’s like an overlay of the scientific data,” says Jamie Carreiro, a technical lead on the project. “Just another form of visualization.” PARTY made 70 discs, one for each frequency at which data was gathered, so there are 70 permutations of the same melody….
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