The What and Who
Danish-born Louise Foo and Martha Skou are both musicians and visual artists who share a fascination with the study of sound vibrations. Using digital technology and analog techniques, they are currently exploring the potential of visual interfaces as a means for the audience to interact intuitively with sound. Their work Format No.1 consists of a black and white mural that creates a visual score, which visitors play using a custom iPhone app http://www.telfair.org/format/ .
During Creative Tech week in Brooklyn, Naomi and I, stumbled upon what looked like some sort of unique wall art. We took a couple of pictures near it and almost passed it by.
As I got closer to the wall, I realized that the circles and shapes are actually hanging from the wall and have instructions posted next to them. So as I walked up, Louise Foo, asked me do I want to hear the sounds? I am at Tech week so of course I wanted to see, touch, and hear all that was available. I was handed an iphone and headphones and told to run the phone with over the various pieces and listen to the sounds it made. As I started doing this the sounds began to come alive with different types and ranges depending on the size and shape of the piece hanging from the wall. This was amazing seeing how this all came together in a sort of symphony of random sounds. It just shows how many various uses there are when digital technology and music have come together.
What is the Purpose?
Both Foo and Skou are not only trained visual artists but also self-taught musicians. Part of the motivation for their explorations comes from a wish to approach music making from a visual perspective, in order to make experiences with sound intuitive, even to non-musicians http://fooskou.tumblr.com/ . This truly is a different take on music and how we experence it by giving the user the ability to make sounds and hear sounds in a more personal way than strictly just listening to it being played for you. This was summed up well by including and making the experience more intuitive even for non-musicians because the non-musician usually gets no ability to hear music on their own terms. The ability to allow a user to take the control of their environment and use it as a potential muscial tool has endless possibilites in the life of people worldwide. Cheers to doing something different, creative, amazing and cutting edge!