More selected projects

My Sound Diary

The sound diary is a cube  installation piece that plays back the various sounds I hear through out a day. When each side is touched, it plays a sound for 15 sec.

produced by: Daniah Alsaleh


Living in a big city like London, we are bombarded with  an overload of  environmental noise that causes annoyance and aggravation to our senses. We focus on the visuals and avoid any invading noise by protecting our hearing with headphones, listening to music, radio, or audio books. One day travelling in a jam-packed train on the tube, I closed my eyes and instead of avoiding the cacophony of noise, I embraces it by starting to count how many sounds I could here during my commute. From shuffling of feet,  to the rhythmic beats of the train track, I would be aware of different sounds that I have never noticed before. Taking that further, I thought of having a diary of the different sounds one hears everyday, that could heighten the sense of hearing, awareness and presence. 


The main component that I was using with the Arduino Uno was a wave shield that you could get from adafruit website. The wave shield came with the needed components (resistors, capacitors, etc.. ), and it had examples of many sketches for implementation. I chose to go ahead with the multiple sound sketch. Using that sketch and the sketch from the touch project 13 in the Arduino book, I combined what I needed for my diary sound  sketch. Reading through the code, I experimented with  the threshold, which inputs worked, and converted any audio files I recorded with my phone to wave files.  Moving forward,  experimenting with conductive paint, I wanted to make sure it works by building a small circuit that when the paint was touched, an LED light would turn on.  Once I made sure that the paint worked, I made 5  temporary small pieces of paintings using conductive paint, connected them to the Arduino, and after many trials I managed to run and uploaded a working sketch. I faced a few problems with the audio files, and the SD card, which I changed later on. Once I made sure everything worked, I started designing the cube using the make a case website. After many trials and errors using cardboard, I moved on to a wooden panel using the Laser cutter printer. I used conductive tape too as bridges from the paper to the wires of the Arduino board.

- Work in Progress photo gallery is at the bottom of the screen.

-The Sketch and semantics  to the sound diary are here

Future development

I would like to take this project further by having more than 5 sound waves and storing them in an array list that when a surface is touched, a random wave file is used randomly from that array list. Further more, I would like the sound wave to stop once a hand  leaves a surface, or stops if another surface has been touched.  The project has  the potential for further development for art installations, whether paintings or  sculptures that once touched by an audience, it could trigger various narratives.  Further more, the project could be used in education by being an aid for learning.


My Sketch and semantics

This Holiday Season Give Imagination!