NMR Commission: “Network Sonification” by Zach Layton

logo2.jpgNetwork Sonification by Zach Layton [Needs Quicktime Player] - In Network Sonification, a program written in java crawls across the Internet, grabbing as many related URLs as possible and analyzing their contents. Using Max/MSP, the data coming from the webcrawler program is translated into sound. The frequency and range of words, images and links on these pages create a kind of aural snapshot, giving each page a unique sonic character that is written in real time. Layton offers us a range of sonic portraits, from Boing Boing to the New York Times, enabling us to experience them as networked sonic entities rather than discrete visual/semantic pages.

Network Sonification is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., for Networked Music Review. It was made possible with funding from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.


Zach Layton, a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Interactive Telecommunications Program, is a composer, curator and new media artist with an interest in biofeedback, generative algorithms, experimental music, biomimicry and contemporary architectural theory. His work investigates complex relationships and topologies created through the interaction of simple core elements like sine waves, minimal surfaces and kinetic visual patterns. Zach’s work has been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and he has performed and exhibited at Roulette, The Kitchen, the New York Electronic Art Festival, Eyebeam, and many other venues in New York and Europe. Zach is also the curator of Brooklyn’s monthly experimental music series “darmstadt: classics of the avant garde” which features leading local and international composers and improvisers.

Leave a Reply