Climate Craziness of the Week – 'climate change music'

From the AGU EOS Blogs, amazing that one can get so worked up with feelings over a 0.7C global temperature difference.

The sounds and songs of climate data

My first formal introduction to the portrayal of climate data through music was at the 2013 ScienceOnline Climate conference, and I was most recently updated on various forms of art in STEM education at the AGU 2014 Fall Meeting session on Connecting Geoscience with the Arts.  At ScienceOnline Climate, undergraduate student researcher Daniel Crawford (Univ. of Minnesota) took 130 years of the average surface global temperature data from NASA and translated it into music for the cello. The video below captures the story of this unique project and includes a performance of the piece “A Song of Our Warming Planet.”

A Song of Our Warming Planet from Ensia on Vimeo.

Mr. Crawford has continued working with his faculty mentor, geography professor Scott St. George, and has expanded his version of the climate conversation to not just over time but over latitudes.  His newest piece, “Planetary Bands, Warming World,” is written for a string quartet and captures temperature changes across the globe.  The video below explains this updated piece and includes a performance.

The sound of climate change from the Amazon to the Arctic from Ensia on Vimeo.

I have shared both of these videos with the students in my introductory-level Earth science courses.  These videos are successful in capturing the attention of students (including non-science majors) and generating discussion.  That students continue to mention these videos throughout the semester and share them with others outside of my course demonstrates to me how effective music can be to communicate climate data.

Another interesting “climate science meets music” project is the sonification of polar climate data, driven by City College of New York professors Marco Tedesco and Jonathan Perl.  You can listen to an interview about Greenland Melt Music or visit the PolarSeeds – Sound website to listen to sonified daily and annual data.  Unfortunately, I am unable to embed any of these soundtracks, but it is absolutely worth visiting the site to listen to the haunting sounds of the albedo choir.

If you are interested in additional climate music pieces, check out the New York Times article from 2013 titled “Fiddling While the World Warms.”  In this piece, a digital violin plays 600 years of climate data – take a listen below.

More on this ‘music’ here:

160 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week – 'climate change music'

    • Wow musical hockey sticks , amazing !
      If you listen to the last video, there is a long high-pitched whine at the end. That presumably is the ‘pause’. That may also be an artistic comment on the shrill, ear-piercing whine of the alarmists.

    • I mean, like, the “Hive Bozo” artsy-fartsy types are such opportunistic parasites. But anyway, the guy on the cello, if he wants to faithfully record the temperature record in music (what a barf-bag, geek-ball idea, in the first place!–so do any of these culture-vulture, good-comrade weirdos have a real life, or what?), then he really needs to employ portamenti to reflect the multiple, recurring adjustments to the temperature record–lots and lots of portamenti! Some trills might help too.
      And if any of the lefty, brainwashed “dumb kids”, don’t know “jack” about portamenti, then they might Google: “Arthur Catterall Elgar Chanson de Nuit” to see how it’s done. (Notice that Catterall, like a number of his contemporaries (e. g. Sammons, Huberman, Spalding, Maud Powell, etc.) could actually draw tears from a grown man cry with his “art”. In contrast, today’s music-racket, bot-violinist, can’t-put-butts-in-seats, contest-winning hive-cogs, couldn’t move one to tears (not that they’d care to try–it would kill their “careers”, if they did), even if they whacked the listener, full-force, in the “nuts” with their Guarneri.)

      • artsy-fartsy types are such opportunistic parasites
        Yes they certainly are. Actually most of the academics employed in the Humanities are parasites as well.

      • So, like, pondering this whole climate-music business, a little further, I’m wonderin’ if the idea might not be expanded to include follow-on renditions of the “Medieval Warm Period” and the “Roman Warm Period” and all those other warming episodes (might run out of cello with some of them), since the last Ice Age ended. It might then be of interest to play those various versions of “global warming”, in random order, and see if any of the brainwashed dumb-kids, that are the target of this latest, agit-prop hive-fad–“weaponized-tune-wanking”–can guess which is “now” and which the various “thens”.

      • Oops! seems my “link” to Catterall brings up “Chanson de Matin” not “Chanson de Nuit”. However, once you’re on the youtube site, perform a “youtube” search for “Arthur Catterall Elgar Chanson de Nuit. But both “Nuit” and “Matin” are worth a listen, I recommend.
        And then, while at the youtube site, for the ultimate violin experience (along with Hassid’s Dvorak Humoresque, of course (also available on youtube)), search “Maud Powell Deep River”. Listen and then listen to the “climate change” cello-dude.
        See what I mean?

  1. Seriously, wouldn’t the random chaotic sounds of wind chimes more correctly reflect a changing climate?

    • I just retired from my porch on a spring evening in Vermont. Throughout the yard we have hung the traditional wind bells of the harbors of Maine – Camden, Bar Harbor, Portland – these chimes were meant to inform sailors beset by fog of their locations. I’m uncertain of any design (there are good models for somethings) for their harmony, but with the wind, it is hauntingly lovely. Wind made music.
      I suspect that we skeptics are actually nature lovers incensed with nature’s abuse.

    • Yes!
      And it would be more beautiful:
      Swiss cows (youtube)

      …and pan over to clouds….. Got those clouds modeled accurately, with SKILL, yet, you AGWer scientists, er, modelers? lololololol

  2. Given about 20 years of no global warming trend and all the other CAGW projections and assumptions that are falling apart, this is the song that comes to my mind when I think about the fate of the CAGW hypothesis:

    • LOL, Samurai — “The Dead March.” Perfect. AGW is sooooo OVER.

      • This “music” rather reminds me of this brilliant sketch.

        All the right notes but not in the right order.
        Or another great piano player.

        James Bull

      • I remember wathing these live. Brilliant! Don’t see anything like this on TV anymore. Lew Dawson was great at dropping notes.

    • I think you’ve got that backwards… the data will be revised to match the song… because models are infallible, while nature is not… the notes are hiding below the scale, but they’ll come out doubly so later.

  3. Soon the sound of climate change could well be “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”.

    • Ooooohh ouch that was AWFUL. Perfect. One little “peep” or two and …. nothing.
      Metaphor: Tiny % of total CO2 from human emissions yields……. NO WARMING. lololo
      Good one!
      Re: the opening quote, “Everything we do is music.” Lovely — IOW — NOTHING we do is music (eye roll). Another good metaphor, though: just as AGW is a bunch of NOTHING, purely windy conjecture.

      • The most amazing thing just happened…The video came to an end, I did not restart it, no sound came out — and I just KNEW that he was playing an encore!

    • Victor Borge could have made it interesting. E.g. close the cover on his fingers, pretend the stopwatch freezes in the last “movement,” take a catnap during another.

      • Victor Borge’s schtick was always great for some laughs, especially his “phonetic punctuation.”. Likewise, Peter Shickele’s PDQ Bach – especially his “1712 Overture.” – and even, going way back, Spike Jones.
        Here’s “Professor” Shickele explaining PDQ Bach’s life to the Boston Pops audience, back when Williams was conductor.

  4. Wow, it just gets better and better. The ‘science’ is taking CAGW nowhere so now it truly has moved completely across to the humanities.
    What was it that Voltaire said? If something is truly too stupid to be said then best put it in a song.

  5. The mechanical, repetitive, mind-numbingly dull, style of those three pieces perfectly represents the junk science of AGW: it is as fingernails-on-chalkboard excruciating for a musician (me, I flatter myself) to listen to that “music” as it is for a uncorrupted, real scientist to listen to the garbage AGWers fling about and call “science.”
    Just try this:
    1. Listen to a bit of each of the above 3 pieces.
    2. Listen to this:
    “Le Cygne” (Saint Saens, performed by Yo Yo Ma) – youtube

    Can you hear the difference in quality?
    1st group of music is based on a l1e (i.e., NOT a warming world for thousands of years, now and “adjusted” data).
    2nd music is based on reality (a swan).
    L1es yield discord and ugliness.
    Truth yields peace and beauty.

  6. Ah the beautiful Mannian world where random noise is transformed into a beautiful waveform. Unfortunately the exponential shape rapidly leads to burst eardrums followed by heads exploding from the sheer exponentialness.

  7. Putting the Mann Hockey Stick to music! Belief in that scientific fake seems to persist well past the point of parody or any common sense

    • Science hasn’t worked. Fear hasn’t worked. They’re trying subliminal imaging for the faithful.
      Got to give their psychologists a mark for persistence.

  8. These people are unable to create any original musical compositions so they’ve decided to jump on the climate change gravy train and feed temperature data into a computer to synthesize rubbish.
    I think the result is offensive to any real musician. It’s just… a stupid stunt!

    • How about starting a piece of music with 137 bars of a bottom E flat played on string basses, in one continuous uninterrupted note.
      Well I guess the bottom string on a bass is a bottom E so how do you play 137 bars of E flat ?? Well you have to have those special basses with the extender gizmo on that string to lower the pitch.
      So far as I know it is the longest sustained single note in all of music.
      Well it takes about another 18 hours of listening before you reach the end of the whole piece of music.
      It’s called ; “Der Ring Des Nibelungen. ”
      Very possibly the greatest work of art ever created by one man. And everybody can have their own copy of it, well at least the sound part of it.
      Well I’m sure all the texters wouldn’t like it, and it won’t fit in one of those ni-twitters.
      Just my opinion of course.

      • The lowest string of the five-string double-bass in the symphony orchestra is C.
        Wagnerian orchestra requires a bass range down to C of the first octave.
        Wagner’s “Ring” is possibly the longest work of art ever created by one man. Greatest? That would be an exaggeration, with all due respect to Wagner’s exquisite talent and execrable opinions.

      • Alexander: possibly the longest work ever?
        John Cage’s “As slow as possible” beats Wagner by centuries.
        The performance at St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany started in 2001 and is planned to end in year 2640. The last note change occurred on October 5, 2013. The next change will not occur until 2020.

      • @george, I share your passion, to the extent that I’d leave out the words “very possibly”. After many years of listening to the Ring on every occasion when I’ve been able to clear a week of evenings, it still absorbs me completely from the moment that l-o-n-g E flat ripples into being until Valhalla blazes – and then leaves me wandering about with glazed eyes and a headful of leitmotive for 24 hours or more after that. It is a vast, awesome and utterly magnificent work.
        @Alexander – But the Ring isn’t even close to being the longest work! To cite just two longer ones: Robert Wilson (who worked with Phil Glass on ‘Einstein on the Beach’) produced a work called ‘Ka Mountain and Guardenia Terrace: a Story about Some People Changing’ which ran continuously for seven days and nights at the 1972 Shiraz Festival in Iran; Lamonte Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music have performed (in his ‘Dream Houses’) ‘Drift Studies’ in which they harmonise with tone generators which can run for months or longer. (The ‘Drift’ referref to is the inevitable pitch drift of the tone generators over that sort of time scale!) Mercifully, works on that sort of scale don’t generally attempt the catharsis which the Ring achieves so effortlessly.
        In comparison, this ‘climate change music’ is about as significant as a fart in a hurricane.

      • Gentlemen,
        Please, don’t mix up music and status noise.
        Wagner is music. We may disagree about the obvious unevenness of the quality of his music, but his music is music.
        Cage, Glass, and whatevertheirnames… They produce certain noises to achieve and maintain certain status. Producing such noises doesn’t require talent. Or skill. Just having good connections with the right people suffices to be a “musician” these days.

      • Gentlemen,
        With all its warts and longeurs, Wagner’s music is music.
        The other “long” stuff you have mentioned is status noise: that is, noise one produces to maintain a status achieved not by the talent or skill but by having influential connections.

      • Having played eletric bass, long scale, I don’t know of any device that attaches to extend a string to alter pitch and sustain the note. There is a flex pedal called a compressor which can sustain a notes. There are some ultra long scale basses that are 36″ or 37″, standard long scale is 34″. But then there are 5, 6, 8 and 12 string bases as well as multi-scale bases (Similar to what is found in a piano) to extend notes as much as possible. Strings and pickups make a difference too.

      • No need to bust in open doors. Cage’s “music” is rather a philosophical approach on issues on “what is music?” In physical terms soundwaves are the essential part of “music”. The Halberstadt performance is more of artistic social experiment, The beauty of this music lies not primarily in the direct soundexperience, (it is not even possible to be fully experienced), but in other aspects.such as a the capacity of humanity to sustain a piece of sound art that will require several generations to complete. Influential connections might get you somewhere for sometime, but what does it take to last 639 years?

        • J T

          The Halberstadt performance is more of artistic social experiment, The beauty of this music lies not primarily in the direct soundexperience, (it is not even possible to be fully experienced), but in other aspects.such as a the capacity of humanity to sustain a piece of sound art that will require several generations to complete.

          So why is our tax money being spent to sponsor this carp? Why is he/she/it being paid at all? Is not the proper “social experiment” the question: “How long can I pay for my food, clothing, and shelter by doing something useful when “I” have to pay for myself instead of stealing from others around me?”

  9. That was just painful. In the lower registers I thought I was listening to an untalented fiddler trying to get “An die Freude” and failing. Miserably.
    Mahler, too, would find it,and its title, thoroughly contemptible.

  10. I think everyone living in the north of either hemisphere will die, far before the next glaciation. because of our governments. They are killing 10% of the population in Ontario Canada, 20% in the UK, unknown numbers in the EU and USA. It is all good. Less Co2, less people to pay taxes. less taxes, less government. I saw an article on Harper pledging to lower emissions by 30%. Eliminating cars from the road for a year will not work but they figure a carbon tax or cap and trade will. I vote for the no cars, streetcars, buses, taxis’s, etc for a year. Because at the end of that year or far before, everyone will die. No need for a carbon tax.

  11. Mr. Crawford should have played one long pedal point starting in January 1998 through 2015, with a few micro-tones here and there.

  12. With this linked software, you don’t need the hockey stick to create music from almost anything, including fractals. Fractals should approximate true climate better than a piece of bent wood:
    “Publisher’s description
    “A Musical Generator is a shareware program that creates music and MIDI files from fractals, pictures, text and numbers. Lots of fractals can be used and each fractal can be adjusted in infinite ways to create weird, crazy or beautiful music. Also you can turn bitmaps into music. You can use the names of yourself and your friend to see whether they sound good together. And you can insert your tax figures,model results or whatever numeric source in order to create music.”

  13. Is this what is meant by “avant garde”?
    I’ll take J. S. Bach any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • Typical Leftist ‘Art’. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be ‘on message’. And since the ones with talent have better things to do then try to impress talentless critics and teachers, it is never, ever good.

    • “Avante Garde” is possessing no talent on your instrument, but playing it anyway so as to look cool and pick up chicks…

  14. The intellectual desert that is being created by the global warming meme is breath taking. If the scientists that are devoted to ‘climate science’ actually did real science instead, who knows what real problems could be solved? If these musicians created beautiful music instead of this politically correct swill, maybe their music may be played more than once.

  15. Bach is the sound of God thinking.
    Mozart is the sound of God laughing.
    Beethoven is the sound of God’s wrath.
    Climate change music is the sound of Satan with a bad case of the trots.
    This stuff reminds me of what Peter Maxwell Davies (I think it was) is supposed to have said when asked if he’d ever conducted any [Karlheinz] Stockhausen. “No” he responded, “but I think I’ve stepped in it a few times.”

      • Kind of off topic but, we did.
        One great philosopher has said it this way: “… the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
        Or to quote another great philosopher, Pogo: “we have meet the enemy and he is us.”

      • Enjoyed Alexander Feht’s Violin Sonata & also the opening of ‘ THE DAY-STAR IS GONE ‘ ….until some bloke started wailing & spoilt the nice piano music.

    • Hehe…great anecdote! Reminds me of the one András Schiff told a few years ago during his pedagogicals on the Beethoven sonatas:
      “Someone told us a story of a famous pianist who believed in bringing culture to the people, and went to a factory in Italy to give a lecture in front of a piano. He started to talk about Schönberg, and after a few minutes, a voice rose from the audience: “Shut up, and play!” Ok, he said, and sat down at the piano, playing the Schönberg piece. The voice rose again: “Rather, talk!””

      • Excellent. I will use that. Now this doesn’t mean all modern classical is junk. Messiaen’s Turangalila – Symphony is not for everyone, but it’s a pretty amazing piece. Likewise, a good deal of Rautavaara, and the “Holy Minimalists” like Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, and co.

      • You are probably right; but of the ones you mention I am only really vaguely familiar with Pärt. I seldom enjoy modern classical music; in my opinion its, at its best, more like moods and musical landscapes. At its worst it is horrible and angst-ridden broken fragments. I’d probably always prefer Beethoven and Brahms, Mozart and Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Chopin. Add Verdi and Bach to the mix, and there’s likely enough music to study and enjoy to last a lifetime. I would definitely draw a pretty sharp line after composers like Grieg, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky. I have heard precious little classical music I can enjoy that was made after the First World War; that war that seemed to have had enormous consequences for European culture and morale.

      • Gard R. Rise:
        I invite you to try my music. I guarantee you will like some of it.
        Shameless self-promotion: my CDs are sold on
        Just search for my name.
        Some of my music can be heard on YouTube.

      • Dear Mr. Feht,
        A bit of help with the promotion #(:))
        Alexander Feht (youtube channel)
        Sonata 1 — Movement 1
        Composed and Performed by Alexander Feht (violin)

        Thank you for revealing your talent to us. Novosibirsk’s loss was America’s gain.
        Wishing you well (has it FINALLY stopped snowing over there yet?! 🙂 ),

      • Janice,
        Thank you, composed by me but performed (very well) by a Russian girl, Eudokia Ionina. Well, she was a girl in Novosibirsk, when I left Russia, now she teaches violin in the Central Music School in Moscow. The pianist is Asia Korepanova, she is also from Moscow but the last time I heard she was in Miami.

      • Very nice, Alexander!
        I might have easily missed this, save for plowing through the whole 9 yards again from the top…

  16. There’s no doubt now that we’re all doomed. They have the sad violin music to prove it.

      • Enjoyed Alexander Feht’s Violin Sonata & also the opening of ‘ THE DAY-STAR IS GONE ‘ ….until some bloke started wailing & spoilt the nice piano music.

    • Yeah, I couldn’t figure out if the music didn’t match the point on the graph or if the two were out of sync. And I’m not going back to try again. I think in the second piece the range of the bands were adjusted to give each instrument its full range, otherwise the tropical band would have been had all the novelty of a drone on a set of bagpipes.
      There have been other attempts to use music to better understand data. A lot of the ones that try to come up with something listenable loose a lot of information. This may have kept the information, but it didn’t add interest.

  17. Standards of English are falling. The sloppy comments seen on’ blog’ sites, devoid of punctuation and riddled with spelling errors are evidence for this.
    People don’t ‘do’ music, it’s played, studied, composed, enjoyed and so forth.
    There’s also the phrase ‘we do science’ – lazy English, devoid of all colour and detail.
    ‘Newspeak’ is upon us!

  18. Yes. Here Empress Christine McEntee has found new ways to squander AGU’s money.
    Ha ha Ja ja

  19. So that’s what my wife should be writing songs about! Well, no wonder she isn’t rich and famous!
    Guess good ole Rock Music just doesn’t cut it anymore in this age of The Green.
    I will try and convince her to change her band name from Wicked Wench to “Climate Change is Real” and to write a Ballard in the key of B Minor (the saddest of all keys!) called “our Earth warmed and died”. Who knows she may even get an arts grant to fund the Recording and Awareness video.

    • Wickedwenchfan: The power inherent in a good riff has long been forgotten by the ‘suits’ in the music industry.
      What gets an audience on their feet and dancing? Proper rock ‘n’ roll, nothing else works!
      The biggest crowd I’ve ever seen around a group of buskers centred around a trio of youngsters playing rockabilly material. Electric guitar, acoustic bass and a snare drum plus of course vocals. They really were in the ‘groove’ – they generated a terrific musical pulse, and the crowd loved it.
      I like a wide variety of music, but after hearing the offering on the first video on this post I have to say I’m not inclined to listen to the rest!

  20. Langenbahn May 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    But Haydn is the sound of music.

    Haydn: symphony no. 39 (“tempesta di mare”) in G minor, Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert
    Haydn wrote over 100 symphonies, there are many great ones, and almost all are bright, uplifting, dynamic, rhythmic, with memorable themes, and melodic interplay that are signatures of this creative genius. All of that is on full display here.
    This #39 is attributed to his sturm und drang period, but for the most part, I find this work dynamic, but playful and humorous in the 1st movement, serene and placid in the 2nd, uplifting and optimistic in the 3rd, and it is only when we get to the more urgent theme of the 4th, that the sturm und drang tag might fit.
    I lasted a few seconds with the other stuff.

    • This performance was just in the “nick of time”. That glacier has now melted, flowed into the ocean, evaporated, went into the upper atmosphere, met up with some sleazy diatomic gas molecules, increased the greenhouse gas density and made the world hotter than a Bill Clinton party.
      All because of SeeOhToo.

      • They wish, lol. Apparently someone is looking to build a ski resort on the thing – it’s very much “alive and well” – some day they will hopefully be duly embarrassed about their little concert.

  21. How did they determine which temperatures to use? If they’re using the global mean, how the hay did they get that much variation in notes? Seems rather – chaotic.

  22. They’re playing to an accuracy of 0.1 C. How do they represent the systematic uncertainty in the air temperature record? If global warming is the defining problem of their generation, doesn’t it merit that they should actually be paying attention to detail?
    What skewed notes, what muddying of pitch, should be added to represent the fact that global temperature isn’t known to better than ±0.5 C?
    Is lying with music OK, when feelings are sincerely held?
    Daniel Crawford is untrained in science, but speaks intelligently. What will he do when he finally realizes that he has been misled? That his integrity has been violated, his feelings manipulated, and his good intentions have been hijacked to destructive ends?
    His mentor, Scott St. George, is a paleo-climatologist. He uncritically cites the work of Mann, and others, on paleo-temperature reconstruction. E.g., in St. George, Scott (2014) Past Global Changes Magazine 22, 16-17 pdf. This means he accepts that one can use strict statistics to covert a tree ring metric (mm or gm/cc) into Celsius (C). That is, he claims a physical result in the absence of any physical theory. This marks him, at best, as thoroughly untrained in physical thinking.
    So we have, at best, the untrained guiding the uneducated.

  23. These videos are successful in capturing the attention of students (including non-science majors)

    including non-science majors. Does it include anyone else?
    I actually thought this was going to be an interesting article on how humidity and temperature affect the sounds of an orchestra. Does Vivaldi played in an air conditioned room sound like it was meant to?
    I’m quite disappointed, actually.

  24. It sounds like to play “climate music” you don’t actually need any musical talent. Just like to be a “climate scientist” you don’t need any scientific knowledge.

    • Heh, heh, very good. Under the auspices of Modernism and the demands of specialization, the Sciences and the Humanities have made a pact with each other: The sciences will pretend that Finnegan’s Wake is high art and not solipsistic cow dung, and the humanities will profess to believe in the Big Bang, Quantum Mechanics, Climate Change, Evolution, whatever else the sciences throw out there.

  25. What’s really ironic that the climate data is overwhelmingly unharmonious noise.
    As for “defining issue of our generation” … do they know any young people? Do they have kids?
    … unless by “generation” they mean left-wing university lecturers obsessed by environmentalism.

    • It’s called virtue signalling – proving how much of a better person you are without actually doing anything to make the world better. Sort of like translating a temperature record into music.

  26. This is the actual “music” of climate
    10 hours of flicker noise – 10 boring hours of nothing but randomness. They should force them to listen to this performance:

    • OK,
      Sing along!
      I know a fat old warmunist
      He’s always on our street.
      A fat and jolly red-faced man
      He really is a treat.
      He’s always suing skeptics
      He’s never known to frown.
      And everybody says
      He is the happiest man in town!.
      He laughs at the scientific method
      He laughs when getting grants.
      He laughs at everybody
      When he’s a climactic clairvoyant
      He never can stop laughing
      He says he’s never tried.
      But once he faked a hockey stick
      And laughed until he cried!
      Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
      Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  27. Thank you one and all.
    This post is providing some marvellous light relief.
    It even appears to have frightened away the trolls.

  28. The last piece referenced was “Fiddling While the Earth Warms”.
    Perhaps a more apropos title would be “Fiddling With the Data”.

    • Testify! And anything that can’t be fixed by more cowbell, can be fixed by more Shatner. .

  29. Does anybody remember really stupid things they did when they were younger and look back and go, “holy s..t, I can’t believe I did something so utterly stupid.” I can remember many such times and I’ll think, ‘whatever possessed me to do that?’ Years and years later I still cringe at some of the idiotic and embarrassing things I’ve done. But, thank god there wasn’t an Internet back then to capture my goofiness for all eternity to see. These were the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I listened to (just a few agonizing seconds) that first musician. How will he explain that away in 40 years?

    • Yeah Tom. That’s why these progressive types invented the religion of therapy. That way they can pay for someone to tell them that nothing they thought or did in the past was actually their fault. That is why most likely nobody will be blamed or have to pick up the tab when this scam gets revealed besides taxpayers.

  30. Random noises played with musical instruments. What a huge waste of……
    Wait, is there any grant money?
    How about sticks beating on buckets. Let’s all youtube ourselves banging on buckets
    Yeh, that’s the ticket.

  31. This cute little chick has over 122 million views.
    I wonder how many that pasty student-loan-burdened dweeb got.
    by Lindsey Stirling

    • I made it through, never quite sure if it was to be taken seriously, or not, but now I see there’s even a Wikipedia entry for dubstep – I thank the fates this little laptop doesn’t do bass very well.
      There are fools who drive around in cars with massive subwoofers in the trunk, and others who have similar equipment in their abodes. Those heavy, low notes can be dangerous. People blow out their hearing, and then need to keep turning it up to get their sound fix. Heavy low bass is palpable, as the low vibrations readily travel through solid objects, including our bodies.
      In my view, assault by subwoofer falls within the tragedy of the commons. I cherish my own reasonably good hearing, not least of all because I like to hear the birdies, and Haydn’s violins. Silence is also precious.
      Anyway, back to LS: I don’t find it very good – too much of a hodgepodge of different things going on. Her violin playing is overwhelmed by the choppy beats and cheesy electronics effects, and as a dancer, she owes more to Ian Anderson, than she does to Mitzi Gaynor.

  32. Cellist, “I will now play the commissioned work ‘Fraud’ by Christine McEntee. The commission was re-direction of $130 million dollars from AGU membership dues to a Swiss Bank account owned by Ms McEntee. I hope you enjoy it.”

  33. I do not know how to place a video in the post, but here is the link for one of my favorites, and perfect for the subject of climate (or at least, weather).
    It is called Rain.

    • LOL – it put the video in from the link – ain’t technology wonderful!

  34. “portrayal of climate data through music?”
    Try this…
    The first minute or so of the video explains what you will see and tells you what to look for in the data. The data, set to music, will flash across the screen very rapidly. The original music was “The End of the World As We Know It,” but I got into copyright trouble because of that. So I changed it to music from Creative Commons

  35. I keep hearing the notes a little flat at the beginning, on key in the middle and sharp at the end? Must be that my hearing is off?

  36. Gard R. Rise May 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm wrote:
    “You are probably right; but of the ones you mention I am only really vaguely familiar with Pärt. I seldom enjoy modern classical music; in my opinion its, at its best, more like moods and musical landscapes. At its worst it is horrible and angst-ridden broken fragments. I’d probably always prefer Beethoven and Brahms, Mozart and Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Chopin. Add Verdi and Bach to the mix, and there’s likely enough music to study and enjoy to last a lifetime. I would definitely draw a pretty sharp line after composers like Grieg, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky. I have heard precious little classical music I can enjoy that was made after the First World War; that war that seemed to have had enormous consequences for European culture and morale.”
    Indeed, as the German Ambassador to France said upon declaration of hostilities: “This is the suicide of Europe.”
    You’re quite right: there’s a lifetime of treasure to enjoy among those you’ve listed. But, just curious, would you include anything of Rachmaninoff, or Respighi, or Prokovfiev, or Shostakovich? No Stravinsky? Ravel? Mahler? R. Strauss? Sibleius? Elgar? Vaughan-Williams?
    Just askin’ if you have the time.

    • Sure, but I’m not too good at the composers you’ve listed, so my opinions would be much less than expert. If one knows where to look there are probably gems among their compositions. I’ve had a few cracks at Mahler and Sibelius and enjoyed some of their work, but then again only the most well-known stuff like Kindertotenlieder and Finlandia. I still find them much less accessible than for instance Hugo Wolf. While I suppose one would call all of them romantics, there’s a kind of descent into the dream-like, contemplative among the later romantics. On the other hand, some of the Russians you mentioned may give me the creeps when I listen to them (like Stravinsky and Prokofiev); there seems to be this longing towards primeval, barbaric, destructive emotion. Richard Strauss has never appealed to me, I have never really found enough happening in his music to keep the mind and the heart interested. I know Strauss is well regarded and often played, so there may very well be something there I haven’t understood.
      Of those you mentioned I am most intrigued by Mahler. And I would probably cram in Hugo Wolf along with the others on your list. He has written some marvelous lieder, not the least being the moving ‘Schlafendes Jesuskind’.

      • Actually, I’d say you have a pretty good ear and a good bead on those you’ve mentioned. Although in some cases, I personally think they may have been following the Zeitgeist and were not, necessarily, doing what they wanted to do. I could recommend a few things if I’ve understood your tastes correctly, but I’m afraid I’d be wasting your time. Sounds like you’ve got a good lock on what you like and why. That’s great.

  37. Bringing this back around to the question of data as music, I think that general idea has been tried more than a few times by computer programmers, hobbyists, hackers and the like over the years, and that approach is reflected in “Fiddling a Warming Tune” at the end of the article, which lacks any musical structure, and is trying to make a point
    As far as I know, human creativity has not yet been matched by a computer. So far, only a person can compose a haunting melody like in Borodin’s “Polovstian Dances.”
    Successful performers must outnumber successful composers by hundreds to one.Whatever it is that drives the creative power of the human brain, we know that it has not been distributed evenly.

    This version is conducted by Gergiev with the Kirov ( Mariyinksky) Opera Company.
    Слово о плъку Игоревѣ
    Prince Igor (Russian: Князь Игорь, Knyaz’ Igor’ ) is an opera in four acts with a prologue. It was composed by Alexander Borodin (1833-1887). The composer adapted the libretto from the East Slavic epic The Lay of Igor’s Host, which recounts the campaign of Russian prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185

    • Borodin’s “Polovstian Polovtsian Dances.” sometimes spelled Polovetsian, from the Russian Polovtsi, the Russian name for Cumans, and also includes Kipchaks, and Pechenegs, which were among the central Asian tribes that ravaged not only Kievan Rus’ with yearly raids, but also the various Chinese dynasties, until the Polovtsi were themselves conquered by the Mongols

      • Steve P, I hear the Polovtsi finally settled in Detroit, if you ever wondered what became of them ;o)
        (Seriously, thanks for the tunes and the history lesson. Interesting and appreciated.)

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