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The Metered Tide

The Metered Tide

Tracking sea water level data from 1900 to 2019 shows a sea water level increase in San Francisco of almost half a meter. During that time, tides and complex climate events like El Niño created dramatic fluctuations as well. Chris Chafe’s cello music builds on these changes, converting about 7 months of data into 1 second of music. The video shows Chris playing that music. The sea water level data governs the video edit as well. That periods of more dramatic change produce more rapid edits among the seven takes of Chris Chafe’s performance. A data overlay shows the spectrum analysis of Chafe’s music, aligned with the ocean’s horizon.

Video by Greg Niemeyer Data Visualization by Greg Niemeyer Production Assistants: Olivia Ting, Oliver Moldow Production Design: Lisa Esters Data: NOAA San Francisco, CA - Station ID: 9414290