The Spark Guide To Life, Episode Six: Sound and Music

Should we preserver the noise of a fax machine? Does your DNA affect your music tastes? And what tunes make the tastiest Emmental?

Conserving archival sound and making cheese to music, anyone?

The pixels are alive with the sound of music.... (Adam Killick)
Listen to the full episode53:59

Conserve The Sound preserves the sound

Daniel Chun and Jan Derksen run a film design and communication firm, based in Germany. But they're also interested in preserving vanishing and endangered sounds. They created Conserve the Sound, an online museum of vintage sounds. From rotary dial phones to a Polaroid cameras, the site documents sounds from the past before they completely disappear from our daily life.

How an AI can help you play piano like Glenn Gould

Piano Genie works using a neural network to create a predictive algorithm. Instead of predicting what word you're likely to type next, it predicts what note typically follows the notes that you have played already. It does this based on a database of classical music it has been trained on.

How to find humpback whale songs using AI

Oceanographic researchers collected hundreds-of-thousands of hours of underwater recordings to study humpback whales in the South Pacific. But sifting through it to isolate whale calls would take about 19 years. That's why Google comes teamed up with the N.O.A.A. to help out.  Research Oceanographer Ann Allen, describes how machine learning is now helping researchers sift through this sea of audio data to help them track whale populations.

Cheese that's been exposed to music tastes different

One cheese wheel listened to "The Magic Flute". One to "Stairway to Heaven" and another got A Tribe Called Quest's "Jazz (We've Got)." Yet another cheese just hung out in silence. Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler tells Spark host Nora Young why he played a 24-hour loop of music to wheels of cheese and whether it had an impact on the flavour.

Is there a playlist in your DNA? 

Music streaming giants are removing the curator and replacing it with data — and not just any data — your DNA. Spotify and Ancestry are teaming up to provide consumers with playlists curated by a users DNA and ethnic lineage. Deezer researchers used AI to curate playlists based on mood. But critics, like Toronto-based music journalists Eric Zaworski and Sajae Elder, think it might be kind of creepy and an invasion of privacy.