Symphony created from data tracking nation’s stress levels throughout 2020

Composer Ben Palmer created the piece using data from Fitbit fitness trackers.

An orchestra plays the Fitbit Stress Symphony
An orchestra plays the Fitbit Stress Symphony

A composer has created a symphony based on data tracking the public’s stress levels throughout 2020.

Ben Palmer produced the original piece with producer and sound designer Aston Rudi based on data from the Fitbit fitness trackers of members of the public.

Data from search trends and social media sentiment also went into the piece, called the Fitbit Stress Symphony.

Mr Palmer said the process of putting the piece together was “rather like writing a film score for the year 2020, albeit one compressed into a three-minute pop song”.

The data, tracked from January 1 to September 6 this year, were “collated into a weekly view of information that formed the basis” for the symphony, the creators said.

Mr Palmer and Mr Rudi then worked together to turn that into a musical score, capturing the ebbs and flows in the music.

The piece, played by the Covent Garden Sinfonia, was recorded at the Barbican Centre in London.

Mr Palmer said: “Stress is a very personal thing, we hope that the Fitbit Stress Symphony will resonate with people’s own experience of 2020, and help reflect on what has been a challenging year for many of us.”

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