Right Whale, Wrong Letter
by David MacKenzie and Terry Wolkowicz
Illustrated by Olivia Coucci
Visit the Right Whale, Wrong Letter Website to watch the Musical Storybook Video
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Exploring Tag-Derived Whale Locomotion and Behavioral Sequence Data with the Blind and Visually-Impaired Community through Music and 3-D Sculpture Multi-modal Models
Click the Blind and Visually-Impaired Programs in the menu to learn more.
A student from the Lowell Association for the Blind uses his hands to trace the whale foraging behavior sculptures as our musician performs action-specific melodies that match the same shape and contour, while keeping in time with the motion of the student's hand.
Let Music Speak for You
Music provides an accessible and powerful means to communicate scientific concepts, findings and ideas to the general public, to children, and the visually-impaired.
Discovering the P.S. Portland through Music
To commemorate the 125th anniversary (2023) of the tragic sinking of the PS Portland and those who perished this video uses music and images to tell the story not only of the Portland and those lost, but also to illustrate through music the Portland’s transformation over time as Nature gradually reclaims the ship, layer by layer, and new life blooms in stages of succession upon her remains.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
In this project created for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, we use various melodic phrases linked into a continuous musical cycle to represent the relationships and connections among the humpback whale, sand lance, great shearwater and zooplankton. In an interactive game, users can select various human impacts including fishing gear, changing vessel traffic and CO2 emissions and listen to hear the impacts on the species through the music's changing melodies, orchestration and dynamics.
The Underwater Carnival
Through a partnership between Sound Explorations and the LJ STEAM foundation with funding provided by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, the Holiday Festival premiered The Underwater Carnival. In this exhibit, visitors compare various species of California whales through animated, musical simulations. The simulations compare two species to discover which species swims the fastest, dives the deepest or breaches more frequently. In all simulations, music is composed to imitate the whale's speed through varying rhythmic motion, diving depth through varying musical range, and breaching behavior through variations in musical orchestration, articulation, and contour. By combining computer animation and contrasting musical instruments for each whale, visitors can listen and watch to see if their selected whale swims the fastest, dives the deepest or breaches more frequently. Visitors who predict the correct species in two or more simulations win a prize. The Underwater Carnival’s musical representations of whale locomotion and behaviors make these activities accessible for the blind and visually impaired.
NASA's Universe of Learning
In this project with the Chandra's Observatory, we created an interactive video that teaches children about binary code through rhythmic performance. Throughout the video, we combine various binary code rhythms to create rhythmic compositions. Students can perform the binary code rhythms in time with the video.
Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans
In this project with the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans, Sound Explorations created website-based musical journeys that explore relationships and connections among various marine species and habitats. By exploring these concepts through video lessons, custom-designed online video games and musical performances, children discover an immersive, interactive experience where both visual and musical representations strengthen their understanding of this beautiful, interconnected natural environment.
Musical Journeys Preview Video
The Boston Museum of Science
Bird Flight Patterns Virtual Exhibit
In this project with the Museum of Science in Boston, Sound Explorations created a musical representation for each bird flight pattern demonstrated in their virtual exhibit. The musical contour and rhythm replicated the motion of each flight pattern allowing visitors an added representation that helped to build their understanding of bird flight. The musical flight patterns also provided a needed representation for visually impaired visitors to hear the different ways that birds fly through the sky.
CREATING MUSICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF SCIENCE, ART AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCEPTS
Sound Explorations creates musical experiences that replicate key concepts of scientific, artistic or environmental exhibits and installations. The music's construction allows visitors to hear the structure and underlying concepts to build understanding and provide representations for visually impaired visitors.
Our team creates custom-designed video lessons, interactive video games and musical compositions and performances using music as the primary representation to communicate key concepts, information and connections in exhibits, attractions and online platforms that customarily rely on sight and visual representations as the primary symbol system.