Irminger Channels

electronic music

Irminger Channels is a short (5’39”) audio work for which undersea measurements, taken by a pair of subsurface Atlantic Ocean sensor collections 20km apart and between 30 and 2,700m deep, are sonified. Since the measurements were collected over a period of six years (2014-2020), the sonification perceptualizes long-term environmental cycles and environmental fluctuations in temperature, conductivity, and organic material within seawater. Sonifications from the two identical sensor sets are discretely mapped onto two channels of the stereo field, each performing independently of the other as a mono channel. Differences in simultaneous measurements by the moorings within their shared environment are thus rendered as separate channels of sound, synthesized according to identical processes, and played back within the listener’s environment via headphones or loudspeakers: a simple design approach that allows investigation of qualitative relationships by ear. Further compositional choices reflect concern to frame a field for listener-led investigation of the sonified datasets and their relationships.

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