Copenhagen-based designers Momo Miyazaki and Hideaki Matsui created audible color, an audio-visual instrument that uses simple physical gestures for an intuitive interaction between sounds and colors.
Both designers are students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID), where they developed this playful sound project. Sound is generated based on color detected by a web cam connected to a computer.
Red, green and blue correspond with certain music notes. When the colors are mixed, the resulting secondary colors produce different notes. The size of the colors influences the volume and frequency of the notes played. Color detection and sound generation were created and are controlled using Processing code. (processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Initially developed to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing also has evolved into a tool for generating finished professional work.)
The system of audible color is based on a marriage between basic color and music theories. The colors of red, blue, and green are the visual foundation for color-mixing and the music notes A, D, and F are the base triad that corresponds to the colors. The secondary colors (colors made when the foundational three are mixed) of purple, teal and brown are tuned to the musical triad C, E and G. The visual of the mixing of red, blue and/or green mirrors the aural output of combined notes.
The ‘painting’ aspect is not restricted to water droplets from a pipette. Numerous experiments were performed using substances such as acrylic paint, food dye in milk with soap, and ordinary household objects. Each investigation created a new type of fun and easy gestural music-making.
Hideaki Matsui is a designer based in Copenhagen. He studied product design in both Japan and the US, and graduated from Parsons The New School for Design with a BFA in Product Design in 2006. After graduation, he worked at design consultancies such as Arnell Group and Smart Design New York as an industrial designer for 4 years. In 2012, Hideaki joined CIID to increase his capability as a designer.
Momo received her BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College, a small liberal arts school. She has participated in two exchange programs which gave her the opportunity to live in Italy and Scotland. There, she discovered a strong curiosity about human interactions and their environments. Her budding interest in the role of anthropology in design was quickly answered by the discovery of CIID.
Project at CIID Team: Hideaki Matsui, Momo Miyazaki