LDEO Open House 2014 !

OCTOBER 11, 2014, 10 am – 4 pm, @ LDEO !  

How to get to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory:  http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/events/open-house

We will again build our 8-channel surround sound system with the shaking floor. We will play sounds and movies that we have developed for the shows at the Hayden Planetarium, of five earthquakes in the last decade (Parkfield CA, M6, 2006; Haiti, M7, 2010; Sumatra, M9.2, 2004; Tohoku, M9.0, 2011; Kamchatka, M8.3, 2013), with new movies of earthquake sequences through time for each of the above regions, and also of data from large arrays of seismometers— all new ways of experiencing seism
ECB_faceic data. New this year, the exhibit will be interactive (!) driven by a device called the “Earthquake Control Box” (made with the incontrovertibly Douglas Repetto). We will also have smaller exhibits on listening to earthquakes in Oklahoma that were caused by human activity (deep injection of wastewater from hydrofracturing), and the ever-popular “BIRTHQUAKES!”, in which you can make a map of the five biggest earthquakes on the day you were born, and then listen to the biggest.

SeismoDome! Save the Dates: June 25th + November TBA, 2014


After much delay in finalizing the date of our show on earthquakes (unofficially called “Seismodome”, see the blurb below) in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, here it is! The show will happen twice this year, starting with a “preview” on Wednesday night, *June 25th*, and then the big show, sometime in *November, 2014*, exact date TBD. The preview will be associated with the ICAD (International Conference on Auditory Display) meeting at NYU in June. The second show will be associated with the opening of the “Nature Unleashed” exhibit at the AMNH.

We are now on the AMNH calendar, and there is a number to call to reserve your seat, at http://www.amnh.org/calendar/seismodome-sights-and-sounds-of-earthquakes-and-global-seismology

(The show is free, but you must make a reservation!)

SeismoDome: Sights and Sounds of Earthquakes and Global Seismology

What is an earthquake? Why are they unpredictable? How do we use the “seismic waves” emitted from an earthquake to make images of the Earth’s deep interior? What do those images tell us about where and why earthquakes occur? To explore these questions, we will fill the planetarium dome with seismic waves moving through the planet and the complex patterns of earthquake locations through time and space, using the Hayden’s full 24 channel sound system and 194.6 degree screen. With movies and sounds, we will examine five earthquakes from the last decade — in California, Haiti, Sumatra, Japan and Kamchatka — as if we were out in space and then deep inside the planet, far from the sometimes catastrophic consequences for humans. You will emerge with an altered view of our planet and our place in it.

Co-seismic Piano @ “Entertaining Science”


On Sunday December 1, 2013, at 6:00 pm in the West Village, in a small basement theater, a small representation of a large thing will happen. As part of the long-running “Entertaining Science” series organized by Roald Hoffman and David Sulzer at the Cornelia Street Cafe, we (Jason Candler, Jason Moran and Ben Holtzman) will be presenting our collaborative thing (music mingling with a science lecture) entitled “Co-seismic Piano”. Candler and Holtzman have been making sounds and movies using seismic data since 2006, to bring an understanding to people of this natural phenomenon. We have always emphasized the understanding of the natural phenomenon as separate and distinct from the consequences of earthquakes for humanity and people’s lives. In working with Jason Moran to bring music into this picture, we quickly decided to abandon that approach, as humanity is inescapable in music. Instead, we dive in to the question of scale: How can music and earthquake sounds give us a sense of the magnitude of these events relative to the scale of our own lives?  These days, Moran has in mind a piece by Schubert, “Der Doppelgänger”, and an array of Chicago Blues, that lie on some extremities of human experience.  Somehow, when mingling with seismic sounds, they narrate the Earth and a human life before an earthquake, after an earthquake, before the next earthquake…

We will present a musical lecture in three units.

Co-seismic Piano @ “Entertaining Science”
Sunday, December 1, 6:00 pm,
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, NY NY 10014




Magnitude 9 Tohoku Earthquake (March 11, 2011): SPECFEM with sound

This is a recent movie we put together using simulations of the Tohoku earthquake with sound from broadband seismometers (8 in a great circle mixed to stereo). We have been experimenting with ways to render the SPECFEM3D simulations to separately visualize surface and body waves, relatively low and high frequency parts of the spectrum respectively, to correspond to the sounds that are given low- and high-pass filters. So the two renderings shown here are from the same seismic data and the same simulation, just filtered differently. Matt has been developing methods in “yt” to render complex migrating wave fronts, which is an interesting visualization problem. This is our first presentation of these movies, with lots of improvement to come. For best results, view the movie at full screen and use big headphones.


Open House, October 2012Here’s our setup for the LDEO Open House 2012 exhibit. It was the first show for Hugo, The Machine, a road case filled with all the necessary hardware for 16 channel out, including a Mac Mini, a digital interface, four 4-channel car stereo amplifiers, 16-channel powered out and 8-channel unpowered outs.  Last summer, we built the Machine and the 16 little speakers, 8 of which are hanging from the ceiling … (Photo credit: Helen Janiszewski, LDEO)