The alchemy of chaos: A sound art sonification of a year of Tourette’s episodes

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Mitchell, Thomas J.
Thom, Jess
Pountney, Matthew
Hyde, Joseph
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Touretteshero is the name of a organisation that aims to raise awareness of Touette's syndrome by sharing and celebrating the creativity and humour of the involuntary vocal and movement tics that characterise the condition. This paper documents the development of a Touretteshero project called The Alchemy of Chaos, a sound art piece that translates a year of intensive ticcing episodes (or 'ticcing fits') into a six minute sonification. The work emphasises both the faithful representation of data and the aesthetic sound quality, drawing techniques and ideas from sound design for film, which is often used to convey information about a visual scene in ways that can be used for sonfication. Specifically, the work uses Chion's elements of auditory setting: short punctual sounds that can express locations with minimal sonic references. Sound parameters are also classified into groups that have data significance and those that do not, with aesthetic interventions limited to those parameters that do not impact on data transparency. The resulting piece was included within a keynote talk at the Royal Albert Hall in the UK and the paper includes a qualitative reflection on the work and the potential value that sound design techniques for film can bring to the auditory display community.
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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.