Sonification of high energy physics data using live coding and web based interfaces

Konstantinos Vasilakos, Scott Wilson, Thomas McCauley, Milad Khosravi Mardakheh, Emma Margetson, Tsun Winston Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a discussion of Dark Matter, a sonification project by the Birmingham Ensemble for Electroacoustic Research (BEER), a laptop group using live coding and just-in-time programming techniques, based at the University of Birmingham (UK). The project uses prerecorded data from proton-proton collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland, and then detected and reconstructed by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, and was developed with the support of the art@CMS project. Work for the Dark Matter project included the development of a custom-made environment in the SuperCollider (SC) programming language that lets the performers of the group engage in collective improvisations using dynamic interventions and networked music systems. This paper will also provide information about a spin-off project entitled the Interactive Physics Sonification System (IPSOS), an interactive and standalone online application developed in the JavaScript programming language. It provides a web-based interface that allows users to map particle data to sound on commonly used web browsers, and mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets etc. The project was developed as an educational outreach tool to engage young students and the general public with prerecorded data derived from LHC collisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, NIME 2020 - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jul 202025 Jul 2020


  • Data Sonification
  • JIT Programming
  • Laptop Ensemble
  • Live Coding
  • Mapping Strategies
  • Online Sound Synthesis
  • SuperCollider


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