Chauvet Cave Beep Ploc Symphony

Chauvet Cave is a stunning 8,000 m2 space located in France, home to prehistoric art that dates back 36,000 years. The walls of the cave feature paintings of over a hundred animals from at least 13 different species, making it one of the most significant sites for paleolithic art in the world. The cave was sealed off 23,000 years ago when the cliff above the entrance collapsed, preserving the art and archaeological remains within from damage caused by both nature and human or animal interference. In 1994, spelunkers rediscovered the cave, and it was promptly designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, receiving round-the-clock monitoring and protection from a dedicated conservation team.

To ensure the well-being of the ecosystem within the cave, which is threatened by the increasing frequency of extreme weather events brought on by climate change, researchers conducted a study in 2002 to investigate the relationship between external weather and the cave's internal ecology. The experiment, documented in Chapter 7. of the Atlas of Chauvet Cave, compared the temperature, precipitation, and frequency of water flow from stalactites to see how these external factors impacted the cave's environment. A graph illustrating this relationship is presented below, showing the precipitation, temperature, and water flow frequency over the course of a year.


- Rain outside the cave in mm/day (Blue)

- Temperature outside the Cave in °C (Red)

- Water Dripping Frequency in drops/minute (Yellow)

By pressing the play button, you will be able to hear unique sounds generated in real-time by Chuck using the conservation data for each line in the graph.

- The Rain outside the cave is sonified thanks to filtered noise. The filter parameters are driven by the data. I wanted to make it sound as a mix of wind and waves. Careful when the storm approaches! Rain Scratch

- The Temperature outside the cave is also sonified thanks to filtered noise but sounds more like a kettle whistling on the stove. The filter parameters are driven by the data. Temperature Scratch

- The Water Dripping Frequency data drives a program that recreates the sound of falling water drops. The frequency of the drops is random, which means that each listening of the piece will be unique. The duration between two drops depends on the water dripping frequency. Spatialization is also random. Dripping Frequency Scratch