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The John Rylands Research Institute

The song of commerce

Samuel Van Ransbeeck, Early Career Researcher

Samuel’s project uses sonification to represent the textile trade between Manchester and Brazil during the 19th century.

Using data from the Owen Owens and Son archives, Samuel intends to build a model of the trade between Manchester and Brazil and represent the data through sound in a process called sonification. By using sonification, the project will offer an immersive experience for the visitor.

Sonification also lends itself towards allowing for a reinterpretation of data that has previously been ignored, discarded, or considered incomplete. By sonifying the data, Samuel hopes to lend a new interpretation to the trade route between Manchester and Brazil which at that time was not only profitable (it was the Owens’ most profitable trading route) but also represents a period in South America’s history towards self-determination.

This project is funded by a JRRI Digital Humanities grant and runs from October 2018 to July 2019.