This mobile, location-based artwork makes audible the rise and fall of the tide and its relationship to the earth, the moon and the sun.
If you have good mobile reception at your UK coastal destination, you can experience Tidesong in your browser. If you're in Scotland and using Chrome/Android or Safari/iOS, you can also install an app version for offline use.
Tilting your device will allow you to focus on the different layers of sound. Moving your phone like a compass will pan audio left and right; facing the ocean will give you a balanced sound.
Scan the QR code with your phone or type the address into your phone's browser
Tidesong uses a process called data sonification, converting numerical data into sound. In this case, the data comes from tidal predictions at over 700 UK locations. The high and low tides occur approximately twice daily, and are compressed to a ratio of one month per minute to make the patterns perceptible on a human timescale.
The measurements are mapped to notes, so that each change in height triggers a change in pitch. By listening out for the high and low notes in the melody, it is possible to hear the differences in tidal ranges over specific places and times.
The tidal melody is combined with two further sonifications, responding to the durations of lunar and solar days and the phases of the moon.
The tidal range for any location increases at the full moon, and even more so when the sun and moon are aligned. Individual coastal topographies have a huge effect on the extent of tidal range. The Bristol Channel, with its funnel-like shape, has the second-highest tidal range in the world, reaching 15 meters at its solar/lunar peak.
Coding assistance provided by Colin Bell, data supplied courtesy of the National Oceanography Centre and the UK Hydrographic Centre.
Victoria is an artist based in Scotland, who is conducting practice-based PhD research at Edinburgh College of Art. Her AHRC/SGSAH funded project, “Where Do I End and You Begin?” explores the ways we connect to, and perceive, our surroundings.
Tidesong has been developed in collaboration with the creative coding and design support of Brendan McCarthy and Sam Healy of Ray Interactive.
Tidesong was made possible through the support of the Creative Informatics Small Research Grants, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
Press a pin to hear a previous Tidesong.