Marty Quinn
Drummer/Tabla Player/Data Sonification Specialist/Song Writer/Vocalist/Producer


Marty has performed, recorded and/or toured with Pat Martino (Starbright-WB), Darius Brubeck, Randy Armstrong and Doah World Music Ensemble (Global Pacific/Columbia), Visant Rai (Vanguard), The Funky Divas of Gospel and Rock My Soul Gospel Choirs, various Broadway Show tours, and original music, drama, and dance productions The Magic Bird and The Seven Valleys with his wife, Dr. Wendy Quinn (see He is the founder of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab that specializes in transforming data into music and has collaborated with scientists at the Venice Marine Institute, the Climate Change Research Center and Space Plasma Group of the University of New Hampshire, and the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona. Marty has studied with Jim Chapin on drums, and Jeannie Deva (Voice Studio Boston) for voice and has developed innovative teaching methods including the experiential Drumming Extravaganza for group drumset instruction and the Inspiration Code Vocal Training workshops.


Track Descriptions:

Mars Gamma Ray Spectrometer Sonification: watericeonmars.mp3 (2:45) (half year on Mars)

yearonmars.mp3 (full year on Mars)

Marty's recent work with the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona transforming the data from NASA Mars Odyssey?s Gamma Ray Spectrometer and Neutron Data collector into music for public outreach. The melody expresses the hydrogen (water) signal - the higher the pitch, the more water. The bell represents the latitude, low pitch South, high pitch North. The volume of the drum beat expresses the strength of the solar intensity, the louder the more sunlight is hitting the planet. Harmonic counterpoint is contributed by three patterns played as slow bass plucks, medium speed strings, and fast piano lines whose volume reflects the presence of slow, medium and fast neutrons. Each measure of music represents one month of data from a 5 degree range of latitude. The music starts from a southern latitude and presents 12 months of data from that latitude, then moves up at least 10 degrees on the planets surface and presents data from that latitude and so forth till it reaches the top of the planet.

The slow, medium and fast neutron musical patterns reflect Marty's unique software which is able to create patterns based on the selection processes used in drumming. For example, in drumming, a paradiddle pattern such as RLRRLRLL is used to play one or more drums. In Design Rhythmics software, such a pattern can select from one or more lists of notes. In the Mars music, each pattern of music is uniquely specified and so creates a rhythmic permutation and polyrhythm amongst them.

For the online version, visit

The Valley of Search (3:48)

Marty?s tabla playing is featured on this original track from The Seven Valleys, a QuinnArts musical stage adaptation of the 19th century mystical masterpiece.

drums_eeg.mp3 (4:30)

This track features Marty playing drums over music generated from 64 channels of EEG brain wave data. Each channel of data is converted into pitches selected out of a 6 octave major scale and played through a unique instrument. Four QY100 synthesizers were used to create this background texture where all 64 channels are playing simultaneously.

tablas_solar.mp3 (1:50)

Marty plays tablas over solar wind music from 19 days in 1998. The harp expresses the ratio of iron to oxygen atoms present in the solar winds as recorded by the ACE spacecraft. The marimba represents the hours of the days, the shaker counterstreaming electron events (electrons making an arc out from the Sun and back again).

drums_sacredtext.mp3 (2:20)

This track features Marty playing drums in a slower groove accompanied by music generated directly from the sacred writings of the major faiths. In Marty?s textual sonification, letters are mapped to pitches and position of the letter in a word is mapped to a unique instrument that plays the letter?s pitch. In this example, a simple chord progression is cycling every 8 letters between a gmin7 and cdom7, and the scales used for mapping letters to pitches are also changing every 8 letters to those that are possible candidates for improvisation over those chord types.

drumstablas_sacredtext.mp3 (:50)

A faster example of Marty?s playing drums and tablas (in the background music) to music generated from the textual sonification of Buddhist, Gospel, and Baha?i sacred text.

Your Love is Still the Same Lyrics (4:40)

This is an original song in a salsa arrangement featuring Marty vocals. The sax solo is played by long-time friend Charlie Jennison.

Give Love, Give Light Lyrics (5:37)

This is another original song in an East/West arrangement featuring Marty vocals.

Finale for The Seven Valleys (2:11)

This original composition is the finale from The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness from the production The Seven Valleys. It features arrow shot sound effects, rich textures, orchestration, and some polyrhythms.

Peace Peace Peace Part1 Part 2 Part 3 Lyrics (2:13)

A polyrhythmic round for peace.

Hale Hale (Glad Tidings) Lyrics (4:21)

This upbeat song celebrates the world?s great spiritual teachers.

Bring Me Back Lyrics (2:08)

Another polyrhythmic round featuring the text of a Baha?i prayer in the middle.