Project SysSon

A systematic procedure to develop sonifications

The amount of data being processed today is steadily increasing, and both scientists and society need new ways to understand scientific data and their implications. In SysSon, we will develop a systematic procedure to develop sonifications for the foremost scientific domains. We apply this systematics with climate data in order to establish a case study of a systematic sonification of exploratory data.

Sonification is the acoustic analogue of data visualization. Research issues include parameter mapping, audification, model-based sonification, and iconographic representations (e.g., auditory icons). Different combinations of these methods take advantage of human perceptual and cognitive capabilities. Sonification is especially suited to the preliminary exploration of complex, dynamic, and multidimensional data sets.

We have set up a Soundcloud account where you can listen to the sound samples and comment on them. 

This is an iterative project following a systematic research approach developed with an interdisciplinary team of three institutions:

Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics

The project SysSon is mainly hosted at the Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM). The IEM is a multidisciplinary institution, whose general mission is to bridge the gap between science and the arts in the field of audio engineering. In the last years, the institute developed a research focus on sonification.

The following IEM members work within the SysSon project:

Robert Höldrich

Katharina Vogt

Visda Goudarzi

Hanns Holger Rutz

Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change

Wegener Center Logo

The WEGC is an interdisciplinary, internationally oriented research center at the University of Graz (UoG) focusing on "Climate, Environmental, and Global Change". Professor Gottfried Kirchengast, who is the director of the center hosting about 35 researchers, is also head of the Atmospheric Remote Sensing and Climate System (ARSCliSys) research group, in which the project will be embedded.

Members of the Wegener Center that take part in the SysSon project are:

Gottfried Kirchengast

Andrea K. Steiner

Centre for Systematic Musicology

The centre for Systematic Musicology research and teaching in all areas of systematic musicology, focusing on music psychology. The centre also promotes interdisciplinary interactions among systematic musicology, its “parent disciplines” (e.g. psychology), and other musical disciplines (e.g. ethnomusicology).

Members of the Centre for Systematic Musicology within SysSon:

Richard Parncutt

Stefan Reichmann

NEWS: Climate By Ear (Science By Ear 3)

An Interdisciplinary Sonification Workshop

Date: September 3-5, 2014

Location: IEM Graz, Inffeldgasse 10/III


This workshop will bring together international experts in the field of sonification with distinguished scientists from climate science. Relevant sonification tools and example data sets will be discussed. Afterwards, participants will work in interdisciplinary teams of sonification experts, data scientists, and audio programmers.The hack session will entail the development of two tasks that include sonification strategies and experimentation with the SysSon platform via iterative coding. Researchers from Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change will have the opportunity to make firsthand experiences with SysSon platform for research questions from their fields; sonification experts will receive valuable feedback on their sonification design approaches. Furthermore, we hope to gain insights on interdisciplinary collaborative approaches.





Project SysSon