LASER Boston: Data x Sound

How can you hear data? What new perspectives are revealed when data is translated into music? Why does music affect our bodies and minds?

Sep 5 | 6:00 pm | swissnex Boston

Event Details


swissnex Boston
420 Broadway, Cambridge , Massachusetts 02138 United States


September 05, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm America/New York (UTC-05:00)



How can you hear data? What new perspectives are revealed when data is translated into music? Why does music affect our bodies and minds?

On September 5th, LASER Boston will explore these questions and more as we hear from three speakers across the arts and sciences. With the ultimate goal of fostering cross-disciplinary discovery and dialogue, this event will feature biomaterials scientist Markus Buehler, sonic artist Rachel Devorah, and musician and composer Hubert Ho.

Presented by swissnex Boston and SciArt Initiative.


6:00pm Community Networking
Speakers and audience members are welcome to join in a pre-talks networking session.

6:30pm Talks
See descriptions below.

Stick around to continue the discussion over drinks and snacks.


Markus Buehler
“The Nexus of Materialized Sound and Sonified Material”

Markus Buehler is the McAfee Professor of Engineering and directs MIT’s Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics. In his research, Markus pursues new modeling, design and manufacturing approaches for advanced biomaterials that offer greater resilience and a wide range of controllable properties from the nano- to the macroscale. One such approach includes data sonification, and the creation of new forms of musical expression from biological systems as a means to better understand the underlying science, and to use musical composition as a way to design new materials from the bottom up.

Rachel Devorah
“Sonification and the Social”

Rachel Devorah Wood Rome is a sonic artist whose works engage the poetics and politics of their specific context. Her work has been heard in the United States at institutions such as the National Opera Center and Pioneer Works as well as in 12 countries over 3 continents. Rachel is an Artist Fellow at MIT’s OpenDocLab and Assistant Professor of Electronic Production and Design at the Berklee College of Music. Rachel’s projects span sonifying quantitative and qualitative aurora borealis data to re-rendering of sounds that have historically inhabited certain sites.

Hubert Ho
“Sonic Play, Playful Sound: What Composers Learn from Psychoacoustic Research”

Hubert Ho is a composer, pianist, and teaching professor at Northeastern University. As a former United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Hubert’s music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Corcoran Gallery. Ensembles playing his music include the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, Prague Modern, and the New York New Music Ensemble. Hubert’s scholarly interests focus on the relationship between music theory and psychoacoustics.