EUCP & Bellhouse: Listening to a European winter storm

EUCP Updates

Between September and November 2020, EUCP took part in a fascinating experiment at the interface of art and science: the Bellhouse project. Bellhouse is an interactive sound sculpture conceived by artist and ceramicist Roop Johnstone, which was commissioned by Climateurope to translate various climate data into the sound of 34 bells. By translating climate data in a surprising and unorthodox way, Bellhouse makes us question how we choose to represent it, and how our climate data is heard as a result.

To participate, EUCP Work Package 2 scientist Segolene Berthou provided a short animation showing a high resolution simulation of a storm – a small portion of what the High resolution regional climate model used in EUCP can produce. The animation is divided into two panels: a simulation of a storm across Europe in a regional very high-resolution model (2.2km) and the same simulation but in a global climate model with a lower resolution (25km). Bellhouse played both panels together through the bells, as well as the high-resolution simulation and the global model simulation separately. The video plays the high-resolution storm: you can now enjoy the sound of stormy rain while staying dry!

EUCP Climate science communicator Annie Schultz participated in a panel discussion at Climateurope’s webstival on November 19th to further promote the experience as well as to exchange reflections and takeaways with the artist, Roop Johnstone, and Antonio Graca, who represented the perspective of the wine industry using climate services. Discussions highlighted the value of using art and sound to engage the audience in a different and fun way, through a deeper sensory connection than the usual fast-paced communication channels.