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CCRMA: The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics CCRMA Building at Stanford University
Image retrieved from: flickr

Mars in 3D "Mars in 3D" remastered in high-definition, produced by Elliott Levinthal of Stanford University.
Image credit: Mars in 3-D

close up photograph of piano strings Piano string close up.
Image credit: Chris Chafe Music

Stanford Laptop orchestra SLOrk: Stanford Laptop Orchestra
Image Credit: Stanford Laptop Orchestra

Images used with permission.
All rights reserved.
The NASA ArtSpace Team is collaborating with members of the Stanford University Center for the Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA, pronounced 'karma'). The center was founded in 1975 by John Chowning, a Stanford professor, researcher and musician who has spent his career synthesizing the fields of sound and science. CCRMA is a landmark that has become known to students and faculty as simply 'the Knoll.'

Originally located at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratories during the 1960s, CCRMA was established as a place where researchers and composers could work together to create computer-based technology and digital audio, and has since developed into an innovative multimedia platform that represents the convergence of music and technology.

Since its inception, CCRMA has sought to actively engage students, teachers and researchers across different departments, including music, engineering, physics, and technology. The interdisciplinary nature of this facility has fostered a variety of productions and events, such as concerts by the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk), and Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPho), in addition to hearing seminars about reverberation, and brain imaging, to name a few.

More recently, CCRMA members such as Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Jonathan Berger and Chris Chafe have been researching and developing projects based on environmental and biological sounds, music sonification, and computer human interaction. This wide range of research further demonstrates how CCRMA interprets and executes this convergence of music, technology and art, disciplines that have traditionally been studied and researched seperately.

The researchers at CCRMA have implemented various techniques to not only measure and reinterpret data through sound, but also to create computer-based sonifications of physical spaces. For example, CCRMA sent a team of researchers to measure the interior space of Hagia Sophia, a mosque and museum in Instanbul. They sought to convert balloon pop recordings into room impulse responses in order to recreate the audio experience within Hagia Sophia, which is a unique space, musically speaking, because of its domed ceiling and distinctive acoustics.

In addition to the Hagia Sophia sonification, CCRMA has also measured the brain activity of an individual with epilepsy, before, during and after a seizure. This sonification represents an effort to understand the role that recorded biological data could hold.

CCRMA facilty recently completed a project called Mars in 3D, which is a film that documents NASA's Viking 1 and 2 missions, and highlights their efforts to discover life on Mars. Mars in 3D presents modern high-definition digital and audio to the original footage, which creates a more musically and technically developed representation of the Viking missions. This film demonstrates CCRMA's interests in advanced technology and scientific discovery in addition to their underlying focus in musical enhancement and development.

Stanford students have written blog posts about their involvement with CCRMA events and have hosted programs such as the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPho), which further demonstrate the growing interest in the CCMRA and the union between art and technology among the student body.

Ultimately, CCRMA demonstrates how the convergence of music and technology can produce both innovative works of art and useful information, and is a union that represents the core values and missions of NASA ArtSpace.

See here for more information about CCRMA: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/