Visual Communication - Bachelors

Sonic to Visual Language

Music festivals in Australia are making moves to ensure that they are as inclusive as possible for their audience. This sonic to visual language considers that there will be attendees in the audience who are hearing impaired, with varying degrees of deafness. Creating a more immersive and inclusive experience for all music lovers to experience the gift of music, through using sound as data.

Three different styles of patterning. Two circles on the left hand side with gradients and the song title "Love to Dream.' The middle is a typographic style pattern with the song title 'Maria Maria.' On the right is a rainbow bow made up of lines that squiggly lines with the song title 'Venom.'

Many times deaf people are excluded from amazing impactful music events and culture because ‘we as hearing people choose to say NO.’-Amber Galloway Gallego

The visual language interprets frequency of sound (pitch), as various shapes, patterns and thickness of lines. This is done through the use of Javascript/coding technology that uses sound files as data to create imagery.

Studies show that the use of high frequency vs low-frequency sound has an impact on emotional perception. Medium pitches can be neutral while either side of the spectrum can evoke higher energy emotions compared to mellow emotions. This can be replicated using form.

Representing this has benefits for people who have difficulty with hearing high frequency or low-frequency sounds.

Deep Blue (D minor + A Flat Minor)-  Serious and melancholic. Brings on feelings of concerns and contemplation.

Pale Greyish Blue (F sharp + B Flat) - Joyful and cheerful, with feelings of love, consciousness, hope, optimism, and peace.

Lime Green (B flat minor + D sharp) - Deep and anxious, evoking feelings of distress, terror, darkness, and hesitation.

Chords within music have the ability to evoke emotional experiences, changing as the chords change. Recognising this as an important part of the music experience, and interpreting it through the use of colour can provide a similar experience. The colours chosen are instinctive and quick for someone who is within this cultural climate. Rather than driven by trends and styles. These are a few examples of chord associations and their colour pairs.

Two colourful circles exploring hue. Patches of the circles are different opacities and intensities. The right one uses vibrant pinks and yellows while the other uses more mellow blues and purples.

Raising the volume of a sound increases the impact of the music or makes the instrument/section of the song more prominent. This is similar to the use of intensifying colour.

High saturation colours draw the eye to certain points more than that of a lower saturation.

Using this in the sonic to visual language will allow the viewer to gauge the parts of the song that are more prominent through their volume levels, as well as the intensity of the musical section.

Example prototypes

These prototypes explore how the visual language could be used. From exploring emotive aspects of the songs through colour/chord progression. to visualising interaction between instrumentals and vocals.

These projections would work best played behind a live interpreter. They give a live ambient background for what is happening within the musical performance.

View Javascript Prototype

Tamaryn Johnson

Tamaryn is a design student who has had experience in areas across the Industrial and Visual Communication Design disciplines. Through this she has developed an immense passion for user-centred, sustainable and inclusive design focuses. Coupled with a natural curiosity about the world and the systems within; her design focus hopes to challenge the way people live and interact with their world.