Pent Stream is a sonification of data recorded by the flood monitoring station at Black Bull Road in Foord, Folkestone. The local community has experienced significant flooding on at least four occasions in the last 120 years. The data is made available via the Environment Agency’s real-time flood monitoring API feed.
Programmed in Pure Data (Pd), Pent Stream uses the most current river level (updated every 15 minutes) and begins a sequence of electronic tones, followed by the high, low and mean river levels recorded on the previous day. Each measurement (in metres) is converted into a musical pitch for each tone, at a scale of 1cm per octave beginning on the note C5.
The sequence has been visualised (using GEM in Pure Data) as a simple graph with each reading, along the x axis, colour-coded and rising to the corresponding river level (or pitch) along the y axis. Current river level is indicated by the yellow bar, while the blue, red and green bars equal the low, high and mean levels respectively. For reference, the graph includes white lines at 0, 0.5 and 1m increments and also displays the highest recorded (0.77m, magenta) and typical low levels (0.08m, cyan).
Another iteration of Pent Stream (Long-term) cycles through the daily recorded data since 2016. Each daily measurement of high, low and mean levels are again converted using the formula above, and sounded simultaneously creating a three-tone chord and set against a constant tone representing 0 metres, giving an indication of the water level rise and fall (and consistency), over a defined period of time.