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February 17, 2015 AT 1:58 pm

Data-Driven DJ Sonifies Income Inequality in NYC #ArtTuesday

Brian Foo created a fantastic sonification of income inequality in New York City.  The video recreates a ride on a subway through the city with music that’s controlled by the household income of nearby areas along the way.  You can hear the music steadily increase as it approaches the heart of Manhattan, and then fall off gradually as it rides away.  Very interesting and creative use of data + music!

Learn more from Brian’s description of how he created the sonification:

The goal of this song is to emulate a ride on the New York City Subway‘s 2 Train through three boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. At any given time, the quantity and dynamics of the song’s instruments correspond to the median household income of that area. For example, as you pass through a wealthier area such as the Financial District, the instruments you hear in the song will increase in quantity, volume, and force. Stylistically, I want the song to exhibit the energy and orderly chaos of the NYC subway system itself.

Two Trains: Sonification of Income Inequality on the NYC Subway


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