Soundscape – Perseverance

A generative soundscape celebrating a machine that travelled 470 million Kilometres to another world. Sound generated using Instacomposer and Nodal Sequencer, rendered using Reaper Digital Audio Workstation.

This soundscape was created mainly using my usual technique, which is to firstly generate large blocks of sound in the form of MIDI data, and then “sculpt away” the parts I don’t need until what remains can be edited into the desired sound.

I have been using Nodal Sequencer as my “go to” generative tool for some time now, and networks written in Nodal were employed here.

I also used (for the first time) the generative tool known as “Instacomposer” which is A.I. based rather than aleatoric. This useful tool allows one to work with keys and chord sequences – even if (like me) you don’t have much music theory.

The images in the video are courtesy of NASA.

The soundscape also includes two actual real-life recordings from the Perseverance’s onboard microphones. The introductory section representing the spacecraft approaching Mars is intended to reflect the fact that “in space no one can hear anything” – except of course your own heart. That whirring sound at the beginning is the rover’s heat rejection fluid pump keeping the machine alive and warm in the cold vastness of space.

The scraping sounds later in the piece are the sounds of Perseverance’s metal wheels travelling over the rocky Martian terrain.


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