Audio Installation: The Sound of Two Clouds Caught in Different Storms

What does a cloud sound like?

The Sound of Two Clouds Caught in Different Storms is built from the raw materials of physical simulation: turbulence, wind, and diffusion rather than melody, harmony, and rhythm.

By turning the tools of film VFX toward pure mathematical abstraction and away from photorealistic representation, artist Nathan Koch subverts their original purposes. He gives the “pyro sims” of industry VFX artists a chance to reach for the sublime.

How it works

I used Side FX's Houdini to produce two clouds in a virtual space, and created a physical simulation to shape and move them in time and space. By reading the simulation results as a raw mathematical data, I was able to turn a virtual space intended for 3D animation into a a stream of data ready for sonification, representing volumes of varying density moving and reacting to forces in space.

This iteration of the piece is 20 minutes long, and has been "folded down" to work in stereo. It would be interesting to install it as a quad/surround piece – in order to place the individual clouds within a physical space more accurately.