Requiem for the Polar Regions is an aural record of the shifting masses of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, both the annual melt and reformation of ice, and the long term decline of ice in the Arctic. Using the data provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado this automated program generates a musical score based on the perimeter and concentration of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. The program maps the coordinates of the ice imagery to a musical scale, generating a distinct composition each day. Ice which reaches further from the poles sounds as lower notes, while ice that sits closer to the pole sounds as higher notes. The music produced by the program is discordant and jarring, the imperfection of the translation itself pointing to the disorientation and loss of climate change.
The project exists as an online installation, a gallery installation and a series of live performances. In this video you see the video from the online version, and documentation of a live performance at the Banff Centre this summer. To see the work online please visit lousheppard.com/polarregions