Sonify Your Birthday

for Pauline Oliveros

Based on cycles of life as they relate to the units of time we use to mark them in hours, days, weeks months and years.

Yearly Cycle:
Used to determine the tempo and duration:

Daily Cycle
Used to determine pitch:

Cycles of 7:
Used to determine length of individual sound files (up to 7")
The choice of the < 1" – 7" range of duration is based two criteria:

Cycles of 12:
The choice of one significant sound that repeats every 12” is used to audibly indicate the significance of the 12-year cycle as it relates to the hours in a day, months in a year and to more cosmic time i.e. the movement and relationship of the planets as they relate to our time and place of birth.

Timeline = Age of birthday person. In this case 84 seconds for Pauline's 84th birthday.

How sounds are assigned to timeline:
Assigned based on order received. The first uploaded sound is also repeated every 12 seconds to mark the cycle of 12.

Once all (84) sounds have been uploaded, anyone can compile the sounds and listen to the resulting sonification.

Brenda Hutchinson ©2017

Sonify Your Birthday was conceived in honor of Pauline Oliveros' 85th birthday. To our great loss and sadness, Pauline passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016.

This invitation to contribute sounds to Sonify Your Birthday is in memory and celebration of Pauline’s life and is dedicated to her with love and gratitude.

If you would like to participate, please complete the fields below and submit your sound gift:
1" – 7" audio files where pitches related to F# feature prominently in your recording. Sounds from your daily life and environment are strongly encouraged. For instance - the squeal of breaks, wind, voices of animals and people, clink of glass, etc.

** Please limit your audio file to 1 - 7 seconds in length.

Sample Rate / Bit Depth / File Format: only 44.1KHz / 16-bit / .wav / files are allowed.

Sonify Your Birthday was conceived in honor of Pauline Oliveros’ 85th birthday. It will eventually accommodate anyone’s birthday and can be used to listen to the cycles and rhythms of your own life or as a gift to someone else.

This inaugural realization of Sonify Your Birthday is dedicated to and based on Pauline’s birth year of 1932. It is in response to an invitation I received to create an 85” piece for Pauline. Because Pauline has touched the lives of so many people all over the world, I wanted to share this opportunity to celebrate with as many people as possible.

The structure of the piece is based on several simultaneous cycles: the day, the year, 7 and 12 year cycles and ultimately the single 85-year cycle for Pauline’s birthday in 2017. In order to complete the sonfication of the 85-year cycle, all cycles must be represented by sounds. This will automatically occur, once 84 sounds have been uploaded according to the criteria outlined in the score.

The 85th and final position of the piece will be silent.