Due 2.27 in class – 7 points

Focusing both on material resonance and sculptural form, build a musical instrument or sound sculpture. You may use a contact microphone to amplify the surface resonances, but you don’t have to. Your object/system might look and act more like an instrument or it might look and act more like a sculpture or installation. It might move between these modes.

Your instrument can be “played” by one person (you?) or it can be interactive for a group of people.  It could even be acted upon by environmental elements (water, air, heat, bacteria, gravity, etc) Think about how you want people to interact with your object, taking into consideration how and where it is installed and how your object scripts interactivity.


Some questions:

How might we employ the material resonance of strings, springs, tines, tubes, membranes, or any number of other vibrant objects? What types of architectures and cavities amplify resonances and which materials dampen them? How does pitch, amplitude, and timbre relate to material construction? What are some techniques for producing musical sounds (in contrast to noisy sounds)? avoiding musical sounds (make some noize!)?

What does interactivity mean? How can we build things to be played, performed, and activated by human (and/or nonhuman) actors? How do objects script interaction? What does it mean to play something well? How does control work in performance contexts? installation contexts? Sculptural contexts? Interactivity seems to promise agency, but how does it also control?



Get experience with extended art practices (music, sound art, sculpture) and material and UX design practices (industrial and interaction design).

Think about how composition translates into 3 dimensional forms, taking into account perspective, negative space, reference, color, and resonance.

Begin thinking about time based media (in this case, sound) and the way time functions in sculpture, 3D, and 4D work.


Grading Rubric

This project is worth 7 points total.

3 points:  Set up and ready to go 
Your project is set up and ready to go at the beginning of class on 2.27. I bring a number of powered speakers that you can use with your contact microphone, but you are responsible for setting up your sound system. Contact microphones can be a bit fickle, be sure to secure it with good strain relief so it doesn’t break last minute.

2 points: Interactivity  
You have considered how your object is to be interacted with and set-up or installed your object in a way that is makes sense sculpturally or theatrically (we’ll engage with it for 3-5 minutes). Alternately, you perform / demo your object and the sounds that it makes (3-5 minutes). Think about how to structure your performance and go for it!

2 points: Sonic Interest
You have spent time and effort making your object sonically interesting. Depending on your project, this might look like different things, but your project should demonstrate that you have thought carefully about the material aspects of sound and physical resonance.

FNDT 160 | Spring 2019