Echo Movement: Behind The Technology

Echo Movement: Behind The Technology

You may remember from a previous article that Echo Movement has been working on something revolutionary for their new album Love and the Human Outreach, transforming sounds from space into music for the new release.

It all started when the guys decided to center the theme of the album around space/astrophysics/quantum mechanics, studying similar projects by Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Fiorella Terenzi, Tomita and others. However, they were looking to do something that had never been done before, prompting them to reach out to Edna DeVore, Director of Education and Public Outreach at SETI Institute, who turned them on to the Kepler Mission (the Kepler Mission is a space telescope that looks at distant stars to see if there are planets around them). After downloading data on binary star systems, Dave Fowler (Keyboardist of Echo Movement) contacted Dr. Bruce Walker of the Sonification Lab at Georgia Tech to process the raw data into audio.

After nearly 6 months, they began to get results through a technique called “fitting the data,” which produced 24 pitches from the binary system’s auditory data. The pitches were then cleaned up and transformed into melodies. The final step of this incredibly advanced and in depth process came with the addition of samples from NASA’s Golden Record, phonographs of human greetings in different languages from the Voyager I and Voyager II spacecrafts. The samples were then run over the previously composed sonifications and the intro to Love and the Human Outreach, the album’s title track, was born.

”We realize sonifying sounds from space might not have the same commercial appeal as would a guest vocal from Cee Lo. Some bands go to great lengths to feature guest celebrities on their albums. However, to us there is nothing cooler than working with scientists to go where no band has gone before.”

The intro to Love and the Human Outreach is available here for your streaming pleasure and now when you listen to it, you can truly appreciate not only the complex procedure that went into its creation, but also the fact that it is literally out of this world. Enjoy!

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Article By: Jason Gallagher
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