Humanities & Arts

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of Music, David Ibbett, composes science and data driven music. On the 31st of August, he and his students are unveiling Mars Symphony in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston, the Firebird Pops Orchestra, and Paul Sutter.


poster of Mars Symphony announcement

In this world premiere performance, Ibbett's score reveals the music of Mars: transforming its natural sounds into Martian synths designed by his WPI Music and Science Lab. Audiences will be immersed in the rush of Mars’ winds, dust devils, and seismic rumbles, joined by orchestral melodies driven by the geography (areography) and light spectra from the Red Planet. The music sonifies research provided by a science team from NASA’s JPL, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and ETH Zurich, incorporating cutting-edge audio and data from the Perseverance Rover and Webb Space Telescope, presented live by science communicator Paul Sutter.

A highlight of the performance: WPI Computer Science student Wilson Gramer collaborated with Ibbett to create an interactive audience app. During the show, every audience member's phone becomes a speaker for martian winds and storms - a dynamic 3D soundscape performed from the stage.


Mars Symphony photo

Through its unique blend of live music and science research, Mars Symphony charts an interplanetary journey through the past, present, and future of the Red Planet.

Join Professor Ibbett and Wilson on August 31st at the Museum of Science, Boston: