Sound of color.

Data collection, Information Design, 2020.


Sound of Color, Music Moods, (24x36 in) Data collection poster,
based on mood documentation.

The prompt for this project was to create a collection based on data. I teamed up with Byori Hwang, a very talented classmate of mine, to work on this project, which ended up being a small study on the effects of music on moods. We decided to work with music because we were both passionate about music and considered it as one of the main influences on our work. We constructed this entire project around ten songs, five songs chosen by each one of us. We decided to listen to all ten songs and record our emotions throughout each song. To be able to record our emotions precisely, we first had to come up with a system. We based our approach on eight different emotions/or moods and giving each of these emotions a color code.

After listening to the ten songs, the result was interesting. We had similar moods in some parts and different moods in others. The lyrics did affect how we both felt, but we noticed that our moods were significantly affected by the changes in the melodies, pitches, and beats. We needed a graph or a visual representation of each song to figure out where the mood changed. So, we went with soundwaves, which we derived from analyzing each piece using Sonic Visualizer. The soundwaves graph provided us with a complete outlook on the longitudinal wave that represented the sound system. From this data, we created the first poster, the data collection poster.

The next portion of this project is the digital output. The video portion was based on the data we collected for the first poster. We thought that using a music box would be interesting for this part. A music box can make a sound out of 15 notes and generally plays sound where a hole is punched on each note’s line. Because we had soundwaves, we punched holes where the soundwaves touched the lines. The colors we chose for the music sheets were based on the dominant mood associated with each song we had. We also designed the entire outer box out of clear acrylic, to emphasize the color of each music sheet. For the box design, we randomly placed English and Korean letters that were pulled out of some song lyrics abstractly, then took the box design to laser cut it.
Sound of Color, Music box, laser cut clear acrylic

The final output, actually my favorite part after the music box, is the lyrical poster. For this part, we decided to use some elements from the music box and construct a word out of a music sheet instead of an actual musical note. Therefore, we agreed to use one song out of all the ten songs we had and base the entire second poster on that one song. Instead of having musical alphabets, we replaced them with 26 regular alphabets, which we used to form words. We pulled 155 words out of the song’s actual lyrics and put each word on a separate music sheet. We then categorized each word based on the color mood. What emotion does the word itself leave us feeling? Which of the colors we chose relate to the words and express them emotionally? After selecting the colors to represent each word and then punching the holes, similar to what we did with the music sheets, the final step was to decide the layer behind those words. We both agreed it would make sense to use the full song lyrics. So, we typed the lyrics using a script font “Mrs. Santhi” and made it look messy. We then printed the background and dripped ink all over it to resemble the punched holes. Putting this poster together took us around three days, which we spent between testing, printing, cutting, and finally assembling the poster.

Sound of Color, Lyrical Poster. A (24x49 in) poster based on
Acid Rain by Avenged Sevenfold