Micah Frank’s Tectonic is a sound sculpture created in real time by earthquakes as they occur across the globe.
A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Symbolic Sound’s Kyma processes earthquake data that are translated into sound synthesis parameters. A USGS XML feed is parsed into numerous fields including magnitude, elevation, time of day and geographical coordinates. These data are mapped to synthetic spectrums and processed by granular, aggregate and subtractive synthesis.
When an earthquake occurs, seismic data is relayed to the system, sound is produced and Google Earth immediately flies to the coordinates of the latest earthquake giving us a visual representation of the newest developments. As multiple earthquakes occur daily, the sculpture builds, enmeshing itself in a complex soundscape of textures and tones – every second, different from the last and never repeating the same stage twice.
You can preview the output of the Tectonic earthquake synthesizer above, and see a video overview of the system below.