4D Experience Experiments


About The Music
4D Experience Experiments is based on the question:
"If you were going to go on an interplanetary roadtrip, what music would you take for the ride?"

  1. Does sound travel in space?
  2. What formats of recorded music would be best?
  3. Can we make music in space?
  4. How much music would we need for a trip to Alpha Centauri (4.22 light-years)?
  5. Can we create music that sounds timeless?
  6. Can we create music that evolves?

We have experimented with a wide variety of file formats. The top three types are MIDI, MP3 and MP4.

The MIDI file format allows a composer to create sound files that are stored unlike most audio files. "MIDI carries event messages that specify notation, pitch and velocity, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato, audio panning, cues, and clock signals that set and synchronize tempo between multiple devices. These messages are sent via a MIDI cable to other devices where they control sound generation and other features. This data can also be recorded into a hardware or software device called a sequencer, which can be used to edit the data and to play it back at a later time.

Advantages of MIDI include compactness (an entire song can be coded in a few hundred lines, i.e. in a few kilobytes), ease of modification and manipulation and choice of instruments." In addition, the output device could be a sensory stimulation other than sound. For instance, a middle C could be white light, high C could be a golden light, and bass C could vibrate your chair. The disadvantage of MIDI files is the composer can not be sure what devices the listener will hook-up. For instance, the song is written on a top-of-the-line Roland, but the listener listens to it on a cheap computer. It will not be as satisfactory of an experience.

For naming purposes each collection of midi files is named in reverse alphabetical order of a standard dictionary.

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All music is written and recorded spontaneously. Additional content is courtesy of NASA.
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