“Seeing Sounds and Feeling Frequency”

This was the title of my final project, which was carried out as part of the MA degree in Graphic Design (at the University for the Creative Arts in the Uk). My choice for the project was to combine music and design, as I am really interested in the idea of integrating the two concepts. After some discussion with my tutors, we came up with the research question ‘How can one enhance the emotion of music through design?’ which later developed into ‘How can one enhance the emotion of music for the hearing impaired?’.

Throughout this project, I contacted and spoke with several musicians including those who are hearing impaired. I also spoke with visual artists, designers and music technicians to get their opinion on the project to gather as much information as possible. After gathering all the information needed, I decided to use certain components that help the hard of hearing experience music.. These were visuals, touch and vibration.

After months of development, the final result was an interactive installation, where a music track was chosen and split up into its separate instruments. These instruments were associated with a colour and shape and linked to an Ableton controller so the user could have the ability to choose which instrument to listen to along with seeing visuals associated to that particular instrument. This proved to be a great help for people who are hard of hearing as they could choose which separate instrument they would find difficulty listening to and simply listen the sole instrument.

The SUBPAC helped me with the vibration aspect and gave the user an opportunity to actually feel the music, which is also what some people who are hard of hearing rely on to enjoy music. All these components mentioned, together created an experience, which gave people exposure to a whole new way of listening and feeling music.


Our guest writer, Ian Stilon is a Masters Degree student at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in the UK.  For more information on Ian’s project, please email us at info@subpac.com

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