SEEING SOUND

Thesis Project at Sam Fox School of Design

Created a cross-discipline project that could showcase skills in design, development, and illustration, all rolled in up something I’m passionate about: sound.

The project was a multi-screen installation: kiosk style website on a fullscreen monitor, next to a tabletop homemade cymatics rig with a live feed to a large TV behind the whole set up. I really regret not getting better photos to document… The installation was up in the design gallery space for two weeks before graduation.

The site has four chapters, starting with the fundamentals of sound, and how it travels through space. From there the user learns how those properties organize to form what humans perceive as music, and then on to music and the brain. Finally, the experience ends with a breakdown of cymatics, which is the study of sound made visible, its use throughout history and what it can do in the future. I sourced writings from a few books, and wrote some of my own content to fill the gaps.

Exploring cymatics was very awesome, and took a lot of experimentation. But the best results came from a simple speaker cone, face up, with a petri dish silicon-glued to the cone itself, filled with water, ring light above, and a top-down camera. Then, I played with synthesizers until I found the sweet spots that produced images in the water. Then I composed a musical piece of these “sweet-spot” sounds, ran that through the rig, and chopped up that footage into a music video, cut to another song, by Shigeto. Sound for visual for sound. 0_o

A web-ready, responsive version of the site coming soon! For now, please just few the demo video and still imagery below.

Site Design Walk Through

Cymatics Music Video

Cymatics Raw Footage

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