Monday, September 12, 2011

The sound of the impact and the ground vibrations during the collapse

The sound of the ground vibrations during the collapse of the World Trade Center. Source. Audification by sound artist Mark Bain. Found via bldgblog.

This recording from Columbia University's Geological survey lab, made audible by sound artist Mark Bain, of the sound of the ground vibrating during the impact and collapse of the Twin Towers on Sept 11, 2001 is remarkable.

It feels very profound to me in many ways, as a metaphor for perhaps something larger than ourselves, and of the force of destruction.

Mark Bain's description below. Also go to bldgblog where Geoff Manaugh has posted eloquently about this.

"This work involves a process of audification of the seismological data record, which occurred in the area of New York State, New Jersey, and New England during the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on September eleventh, 2001. The data streams were acquired from Columbia University's Geological survey lab, which run a network of earth monitoring stations in the area; with the closest being 34 km away from the epicenter of the event.

A process of data conversion and signal translation was used to make the normally inaudible seismic waveforms both audible and to play back in real-time as the event unfolded. No other processing or effects were added to the tracks.

The registration includes four events, two impacts and the two collapses along with the inbetween sounds of the drone of the earth. The heaviest impact of the collapse registered 2.4 on the Richter scale, a signal which traveled throughout the earth.

This work stands not as a memorial per se but as an action of affect, where the global terrain becomes a sounding board, a bell-like alarm denoting histories in the making."

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