Project "X-Ray Hydra"

Project "X-Ray Hydra"

A binary star system in the constellation of Hydra has been emitting powerful X-rays. After travelling for 200 years, these X-rays were received by NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Wanda Diaz Merced, a blind scientist working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, used the computer program “xSonify” to convert the X- rays into a sequence of tones. Gerhard Sonnert, of the same institution, had the idea to turn these audible X-rays into music and offered it to the composer Volkmar Studtrucker.

Between 2011 to 2012, Studtrucker composed nine tunes from the sonified X-rays. The first step was to identify appropriate passages in this string of strange sounds. The second step was to integrate the passages into a musical context, to find harmonies as well as a fitting form, and to create a platform for musical processes in the styles of Jazz and classical music. The third and final step was to play and record the music in a trio with Volkmar Studtrucker (piano), Gerhard Sonnert (bass), and Hans-Peter Albrecht (drums).

Here you can listen to audio examples of these compositions and to the original passages that were the starting points for the respective compositions.

If you first listen to the original, then to the composition, and then go back to the original, your perception might be changed and you might hear the original, which at first had probably sounded like noise, as a melody.

Informations

For more information about the project, go to the website of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

More Links:

Amazon mp3
iTunes
YouTube-Channel

Audio examples

In the left column you will hear excerpts from the original sequences, in the right column the appropriate section of the composition.

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X-Ray Hydra original sequence

by V. Studtrucker

Bossa I - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Blues - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Waltz - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Prelude - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Fugue - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Bossa I - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Ballad - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Bossa II - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Jazz Ballad - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Rock Ballad - Project X-Ray Hydra

by V. Studtrucker

Composition Blues

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Waltz

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Prelude

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Fugue

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Bossa I

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Ballad

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Bossa II

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Jazz Ballad

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

Composition Rock Ballad

Project X-Ray Hydra by V. Studtrucker

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