Transforming Voyager 1’s Numerical Data Into an Epic Space Symphony

February 28, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

Voyager 1 is literally the musical translation of data from the raw feeds of the legendary spacecraft Voyager 1‘s magnetometer. Meaning that if there is ever a sci-fi movie made about the Voyager 1, and this was used as the soundtrack, it would basically be the most awesomely meta score ever.

Domenico Vicinanza is a physicist and a composer who transforms numerical data into music. In 2012 he mapped data from the Higgs boson particle to musical scales, and he is currently composing a duet between Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

Vicinanza explains his systematic process:

The principle is quite simple: growing data, growing pitch. Decreasing data, decreasing pitch… Let’s say 25 is associated to middle C. Every time the data gives us 25, it will be played as middle C. This is rule number one. Rule number two: 25=C, 26=D, 27=E, 28=F, 29=G. If data moves from 25 to 26, the melody will go from C to D; if the data jumps from 25 to 28, the melody will follow accordingly from C to F.

Whoa, that actually made total sense. Check out the (surprisingly listenable) Vicinanza’s cosmic symphony Voyager 1 here.