The music of business

Symphonologie is a multi sensory symphonic event representing the collaboration between human and machine, premiered at the Louvre on September 20, 2016 to celebrate the launch of Accenture's Strategy unit in Paris. It is a unique musical piece built by a team of strategists, creative technologists, and musicians, that originated from a software. A metaphor for how Accenture Strategy helps companies around the world, the project aims to reveal the exciting possibilities that exist at the intersection of business and technology.

 
 

An original, data-driven symphony 

The root of Symphonologie is the work of musician and researcher Hannah Davis and her TransProse project. Hannah’s software looks for emotional content in novels and creates music based on what it finds. It reads the text of a story and determines the preponderance of different emotions (joy, sadness, anger, surprise, etc.) in two different states (positive, negative) throughout the work. TransProse then generates musical motifs that follow the text, using the emotion density data to determine melody, key, tempo etc.

With Accenture Strategy thought pieces as our source material, we used the TransProse software to look for melodies based on human sentiment around business and technology. We then collaborated with composer Mathieu Lamboley to build upon the simple outputs the software generated, and create a full symphonic arrangement. The three audio segments below demonstrate the various stages of the project, from the initial motif to the final orchestral sound.   

 
 

Visualizing the data 

The final component of Symphonologie is the music visualization created by Rare Volume to complement the performance. The visuals accompanying each movement of Symphonologie have a distinct tone and pacing consistent with the musical theme. They are a marriage of pre-rendered content and realtime audio analysis, that are meant to be reflections of the emotions that play into each section. As the piece progresses, dynamic elements from the orchestra’s input get weaved into previously created landscapes to bring the data story to life.

OneShow 2017 Silver and Bronze Pencil winner for Dynamic Data Visualization and Music.