The Sound Of Data | Luxembourg

Hugh McGrory
Published in
2 min readApr 28, 2022


The Sound Of Data is a joint project between FNR, Rockhal, LIST and University of Luxembourg that transforms scientific data into music in an innovative and experimental approach with the help of data sonification.

“Sound Of Word”, a piece created with data sonification using TwoTone for a Cymatics performance by Mathieu Lebrun and Kevin Muhlen

The Sound of Data will officially kick off on May 1st, 2022 at Rockhal with activities for families, tech geeks and musicians alike, and will run through December 3rd, 2022 when it will close with a musical extravaganza.

What is data sonification? What is it used for?

Cristian Vogel, Sonify’s Chief Technology Officer, will take part in-person on a panel during the launch event on May 1 to discuss “sonification — creative ways for scientists, musicians and artists to work with data.”

A teaser video for The Sound Of Data launch event

Sonify | Tools and Training

Our team at Sonify has worked with this project since the beginning of 2021 providing consultancy, tools and training. From October 2021 until January 2022 we led three intensive training workshops to provide hands-on instruction for representatives from each of the project partner institutions. Sonify co-founders, Debra McGrory and Hugh McGrory, led sessions in Data Sonification, Data Storytelling and Building Storyworlds, to introduce project mentors, volunteers and administrators to abstract concepts such as ‘mapping’ data to sounds.

Participants used TwoTone, our free and open source web app that provides an easy introduction to data-driven music and data sonification. TwoTone is a fun and intuitive way to make your own compositions from datasets without any prior musical or programming knowledge. It allows you to sonify data without writing a single line of code. Since our workshops consisted of a mixed group with a broad variety of interests and expertise, with participants from both science and music, we needed to adopt a process of ‘learning by doing’ for rapid prototyping and ideation. TwoTone is designed to be fun and easy to use, encouraging hands-on play and experimentation. The algorithm makes an audio track from one column of your data automatically and you can change the instrument, add more columns, and experiment from there until you have made something that interests you.

TwoTone is great for providing an intuitive introduction to sonification techniques but more experienced music creators need more flexibility. In February 2022 we added a new MIDI out feature. MIDI is a way to send information from TwoTone to electronic instruments. The new feature allows TwoTone to send notes to MIDI derived from the data source. It can use 16 channels of MIDI simultaneously.

Video Demonstration Of The MIDI Out feature For TwoTone


Listen to these data-driven music examples created for The Sound Of Data project using TwoTone. The Traffic data piece is made by Steve Allen and the COVID-19 sonification by Oliver Glassl. And if you’d like to try something like this yourself, you can sign up to get TwoTone for free here.



Hugh McGrory

Founder at Kinetek: Generative | Cinematic | Experiences.