Accessibility statement

12 September 2014, Holbeck Cinema, Department of Theatre, Film and Television

The Conference on Sonification of Health and Environmental Data is funded by Wellcome Trust and Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2) at the University of York. It is organised by Department of Theatre, Film and TV and the Stockholm Environment Institute of the University of York.

This Conference will bring together experts in the fields of sonification, sound design, health sciences and environmental science to evaluate and discuss novel sonic ways to engage with data.

Sonification is concerned with displaying data in sonic form so that listeners (experts and/or non-experts) can perceive and engage with the structures and the properties of the data set and their meaning.

Sound can be a particularly effective way of displaying and exploring big data, monitoring processes and representing complex information in creative and engaging ways. Sound, an inherently time-based display, is particularly well suited to representing time-based data (for example, the evolution of an environmental phenomenon in time) as well as data gathered in real-time (for example, a muscle performing an action can be sonified as an auditory feedback).

Sound can alert a listener to anomalies and new events when the visual sense is occupied in other tasks, and large amounts of data can be portrayed rapidly in one single rhythmically and timbrally unique sound.

In addition, sound can help represent correlations and links between different data sets, something highly desirable in specific cases when health data is strongly related to environmental data.

The Conference will include guest speakers, selected presentations and posters, and music/sonification performances.

SoniHED Conference poster (PDF , 1,095kb)

SoniHED Conference Proceedings (PDF , 5,768kb) (also see below under 'Conference Programme and Proceedings' for access to individual papers)


Speakers include:

Dr Andy Hunt (Electronics Department, University of York)

Andy is the co-founder, with Thomas Hermann, of the Interactive Sonification Workshop series (Bielefeld 2004, York, 2007, Stockholm 2010 and Fraunhofer, Erlangen 2013). He co-edited The Sonification Handbook with Thomas Hermann and John Neuhoff. His research interests include human-computer interaction for audio and music, interactive sonification, and new musical instruments.

Prof. Roberto Bresin (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Roberto's main research interests are expressive music performance, sound in interaction, sonification and emotion in sound and music performance. Roberto has been a member of many sonification-related projects including SOM on the sonification of human movements and SONEA on the sonification of elite athletes.

Dr Kevin Hicks and Dr Patrick Bueker (Stockholm Environment Institute)

Kevin is an expert on air pollution impacts to terrestrial ecosystems, especially nitrogen. Patrick is an ecologist with expertise in air pollution impacts on plants. Kevin and Patrick will give a joint presentation on short-lived climate pollutants and their impact on human health.

Prof. Tim Croudace (Health Sciences)

Tim Croudace is Professor of Psychometric Epidemiology at the Department of Health Sciences (University of York).
Tim's research interests span two related disciplines: epidemiology and psychometrics. Tim combines these interests to produce innovative research using state of the art longitudinal data-analysis and measurement theory from the item response model family. Tim together with Dr Jan Stochl (Health Sciences, York) and Alastair Scott (YCCSA Summer Student, York) collaborated with artist Mark Fell to create the installation Sonic uncertainties, the multidimensional case that will be premiered at SoniHED.

Dr Guillaume Lemaitre (Ircam, Sound Perception and Design group, Paris, France)

Guillaume’ research interests include auditory perception and cognition, auditory neurosciences, and applications to sound design and product sound quality. He has worked with the department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), the Interaction group the University IUAV of Venice (Italy), and Genesis Acoustics, a company that specializes in the sound quality of industrial products in Aix-en-Provence (France). Over the years, Guillaume has been involved in several projects with Ircam. His current European-funded project (SkAT-VG) aims at developing sound sketching tools using vocal and gestural imitations of sounds.

Call for Papers

This conference welcomes submissions for oral or poster presentations focused on the sonification of health and/or environmental data.

Topics can include:

  • sonification case studies in the fields of health and environmental science
  • interactive sonfication applications
  • sonification for mobile technology and/or the web
  • sonification for public engagement
  • sonification for research
  • aesthetic issues in sonification
  • novel sonification strategies
  • practical systems and working prototypes
  • evaluating sonification

Oral presentations will last 20 minutes in total (15 presentation + 5 minutes for questions)


Please submit an abstract in English of between 400-500 words. Abstracts will be selected through a blind review process.

The abstract should include the following information:

  1. Name of the author(s) with email addresses and affiliation if applicable
  2. Title of the presentation/poster
  3. Body of the abstract
  4. Bibliography
  5. Indicate if this abstract is for a poster or oral presentation.

Please forward your abstract as a PDF attachment in an email addressed to:

After acceptance of abstracts, you will be required to submit the full article (max. 6 pages for presentation, max. 4 pages for poster) that will be reviewed before being published in the online Proceedings of the Conference. Article MS Word Template (MS Word , 83kb)

Important dates

  • Submission of Abstracts: Sunday 6th July 2014
  • Notification of Acceptance: Tuesday 15 July 2014
  • Submission of Full article: Monday 28 July 2014
  • Submission of Camera-Ready article: Monday 1 September 2014


The Conference will include music and sonification-based public performances by:


Radek Rudnicki (

Radek is a composer, sound artist and performer that focuses on using improvised material in multidisciplinary projects. He is founder of Space F!ght and co-founder of RPE Duo, Kirki Project and UUCMS, he regularly performs in Europe and USA.

Radek will work together with music ensemble Space F!ght to create a performance based on environmental data provided by NASA (time series of black carbon/particulate matter and tropospheric ozone), which are correlated to air pollution and health related issues.


Mark Fell (

Mark is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield (UK). In 1998 he initiated a series of critically acclaimed record releases, featuring both collaborative and solo works, on labels including Mille Plateaux, Line, Editions Mego, Raster Noton and Alku. Fell is widely known for combining popular music styles, such as electronica and techno, with more academic approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems.

Many International institutions have presented Mark’s works: from large super clubs such as Berghain (Berlin), to Hong Kong National Film archive and many others. Fell has received commissions from prestigious institutions including Francesca Von Habsburg’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna) with a premier at Seville Biennale of Art, and the National Ballet of Madrid have performed to his works. He has been recognised by ARS Electronica (Linz) with an Honorary mention in the digital music category, and was shortlisted for the Quartz award for his contribution to research in digital music.

Call for Sonification Works

This conference welcomes the submission of sonification works based on the given data set.

The data was gathered by Researcher Chris Neale (University of York) while walking around the City of Edinburgh using an Emotiv neuro-imaging headset (
The EEG neuroheadset contains 14 sensors which measures brain activity as well as head movement. The data provides access to raw electroencephalography data (sampled at 128Hz) as well as processed data representing emotional state. These states are "Excitement", "Engagement/Boredom", "Meditation", and "Frustration". The relationship between the EEG data and the Emotiv values are based on the scientific literature however the exact nature of this is not released to the public (see

We will reveal the route of Chris Neale’s walk and what happened during the walk on the day of the Conference.

Download the data

EEG data set (MS Excel , 16,077kb)

Emotion data (MS Excel , 833kb)

Sensors Locations ( 16kb download)


The sonification work format:

1) Length: no more than 2 minutes
2) Audio file format: uncompressed audio
3) Number of channels: up to 5.1 (Centre, Left, Right, Rear Left, Rear Right, Subwoofer), each channel should be submitted as a separate mono WAV file and the relevant channel should be stated in the file name
4) Information about the piece: please describe your sonification approach, your creative objectives in 1 side of A4 as a PDF file

Please submit the audio work and the information file via WeTransfer to:

Important dates

Submission of Sonification Works: Friday 18 July 2014

Notification of Acceptance: 25 July 2014

Programme and Proceedings

SoniHED Programme (PDF , 88kb)

SoniHED Introduction by Pauletto, Cambridge and Rudnicki (PDF , 107kb)

Invited Guests biographies and abstracts (PDF , 271kb)

Installation: Fell, M. Sonic Uncertainties the Multidimensional Case (PDF , 51kb)


  • Barrass, S. Acoustic Sonification of Blood Pressure in the Form of a Singing Bowl Barrass article (PDF , 425kb)
  • Cesarini, D., Hermann, T. and Ungerechts, B. E. An Interactive Sonification System for Swimming Evaluated by Users Cesarini article (PDF , 6,796kb)
  • Hammerschmidt, J., Tünnermann, R., Hermann, T. Ecosonic: Towards an Auditory Display Supporting a Fuel-Efficient Driving Style Hammerschmidt article (PDF , 363kb)
  • Jepson, P. and Pelah, A. Modulating Movement with Sound: Comparing a Target Step Trained by Sound or Vision Jepson article (PDF , 423kb)
  • Lockton, D., Bowden, F., Brass, C., Gheerawo, R. Bird-Watching: Exploring Sonification of Home Electricity Use with Birdsong Lockton article (PDF , 337kb)
  • Vickers, P., Laing, C., Debashi, M., Fairfax, T. Sonification Aesthetics and Listening for Network Situational Awareness Vickers article (PDF , 284kb)
  • Visi, F., Dothel, G., Williams, D., Miranda, E., UNFOLDING | CLUSTERS: a Music and Visual Media Model ALS Pathophysiology Visi article (PDF , 580kb)
  • Walus, B., Pauletto, S., Mason-Jones, A. Sound and Music in Interactive Sonification: a Novel Way to Communicate Health Risk of Alcohol to Young People Walus article (PDF , 213kb)
  • Yang J. and Hunt, A. Real-Time Auditory Feedback of Arm Movement and EMG in Biceps Curl Training to Enhance the Quality Yang article (PDF , 15,475kb)