This is a project developed by Chris Baker as demonstration of work whilst studying Music BA at Falmouth University. The aim of this project is to use dynamic weather data from across Cornwall to create a piece of music in a web browser.
There are many projects already in existence that work with sonfifying data, however this project is potentially unique in the sense that it uses server side PHP to function. The benefit of this being that the source code will run on any Apache web server that is configured with PHP. It will also work for any user without the need to install a third party engine such as SuperCollider or MaxMSP. A major downside of this is that PHP is not specifically designed to work with audio, and as such, a lot of the audio manipulation must be prepared in external software. Another major limitation of this software is that as a web-servers usually only have a small amount of processing power and memory available, which means that this code runs very slowly.
So Wav4kst doesn’t produce the most advanced sounds and doesn’t run at the speed of light. You must consider that Wav4kst was created to be a mix of both art and accuracy, designed to function idiomatically within known limitations. So it might not be the nicest thing you’ve ever heard, or the fastest, but through it’s accuracy, sustainability, and accessibility, it successfully earns itself a place in this nerdy corner of the internet.
This project would certainly have not been possible without the support of these brilliant people:
- Photo by Danni Nicks
- Met Office for providing realtime weather information via DataPoint
- Bobulous for tools to help with XML data extraction in PHP
- Thomas Schmidt for providing a PHP class which (although required lots tweaking) assists in the compiling of multiple wav files.
- WordPress for providing their amazing blogging CMS
- And finally David Reading for giving me the chance to learn everything I know about coding