Concert by Data
In collaboration with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Jung von Matt and Markenfilm SPACE we made climate change audible through an update of Antonio Vivaldi‘s famous violin concertos The Four Seasons, using algorithms based on climate data.
Vivaldi wrote the Four Seasons in 1723. His work was a revolution in musical composition: In each concerto, he portrayed the characteristics of the seasons and their natural phenomena like flowing creeks, violent storms, frozen landscapes and even singing birds. Since then, the world he depicted in his music has dramatically changed.
To imagine what Vivaldi would compose today, we analysed every single nature element in Four Seasons. Then, from temperature anomalies to CO2 emissions and to species extinctions, we gathered more than 10 data sets from the early 18th century until the present day to recompose the concert.
The algorithms mapped the data on the sheet music on two levels. While overall climate data sets were used to enhance all four seasons, special data sets like “insect population” were mapped only on individual motifs like “buzzing flies”. For instance, the algorithms adjusted the duration of the seasons: today’s Winter is 51 bars shorter and the motifs of Summer already arrive in Spring.
The new piece is not pleasant: harmonic passages shift into disharmonies, seasons blend together and some notes are completely missing, resulting in an increasingly disturbing experience. The balance is lost, just like in nature itself.
The For Seasons premiered at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg to a sold-out crowd and to 150,000 live viewers on Facebook. Our message was picked up fast and the sound of climate change was heard by millions. TV & radio stations in 130 countries reported on the concert. In only a month, For Seasons achieved a global reach of nearly 1 billion contacts and is now partnering with the United Nations Development Program to organise more performances.
The score is freely available to any orchestra in the world.
Sound Concept, Algorithmic Score Editing
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Jung von Matt AG
PR / Marketing
Segmenta Communications / Hamburg
Creative Data - Gold // Radio & Audio - Bronze
Creative Use of Data - Best in Discipline // Creative Use of Data - Gold
Experiential & Immersive - Silver //Green Pencil
Sound Design & Use of Music - Graphite Pencil // Radio & Audio - Wood Pencil
New York Festivals
Best Use of Music - Gold // Sound Design - Gold // Live Experience - Bronze
Art Directors Club
Data-Driven Creativity - Gold // Innovative Use of Audio - Silver Craft - Silver // Music - Silver // Next Level - Silver