Echo is a sensory and interactive encounter, an exploration of experiencing synaesthesia. This project concerns sound and instrument from a visual perspective.
produced by: Lola Mercadal
By touching the strings of a ukulele, the user will be able to produce animations in a processing sketch which represents the vibration of the strings and the echo of the sound. This piece allows us to broaden our perception of musical instruments and their possibilities.
Concept and background research
The objective of this project is to consider how the brain visualises audio and vice versa; how images can possess a musical presence within our thoughts. In order to do so, I focused on instruments with strings owing to their characteristic movement when touched, plucked, and played. Recreating this in the visual, I was inspired by another kind of vibrational effect: ripples made in water. For the audio effects, I sought to create sounds that would be unexpected of a string instrument, but still preserved the relationship of motion and music. And so, I used computational tones which reminded me of the sound made by pebbles when dropped into water, meeting the audio with an even more evocative image.
Another objective of Echo was to pursue the modification of an instrument into one that could be played with just the touch of a fingertip, without any previous knowledge necessary. I found the unlearned approach to instruments too serious, with not much space for entertainment or experimentation. My hope is that anybody can play Echo, and enjoy creating its sketches - there is something more fantastic about touching the strings and watching the visual respond.