Exploratory Project: Project Proposal

In terms of my project proposal for work to be completed from now until January, here’s what I’ve come up with:

The rough idea: How can sound/musical composition be interpreted in graphic form?

Thematic content:

1) Consider basic graphic forms and compositional factors such as shape colour, position, rotation, opacity and contrast and relate them to properties of sound such as frequency (high/mid/low), structure (attack/sustain/decay/release), rhythm, tempo and volume.

2) Consider how the two forms of expression can be connected to represent one another.

3) Look at the process of translation from audio to visual to see whether it could be automated to serve as a tool for visualising any sound or piece of music and also to see if it could be adapted for interactive uses i.e. speech development or live music visualisation.


a) I believe these enquires will allow me to refresh and reinvestigate my understanding and perception of basic graphic forms and their relationships.

b) I will also be able to take my personal interest in sound and music and consider it in a more visual way, to think about how far visuals affect/and are relevant to perceptions of sound.

Research methods:

1) Conduct primary quantitative research by questionnaire (possibly online) to find out peoples opinions of what graphical forms relate to different types of sound – sample size of approximately 50-100 to gain an overall impression, if possible.

2) Conduct primary qualitative research via semi structured interviews with hearing/hard of hearing/deaf people in order to gain further insight into emotional responses to sound, exploring ways of listening, preferred listening conditions and environments.

3) Wider reading and research into visualisation, the use of graphics and visuals in connection with music, sensory perception of people with hearing difficulties.

Case study analysis of existing audio/visual works.

Possibly semi structured interviews with makers of music, specifically those who utilise graphics and visuals to enhance their work to find out what considerations they make when they arrange visuals for their music.

Projected outcomes:

1) Visual work documenting experiments with graphic representations of sound, based both on my own interpretations and those of my research enquiries

2) Visual work experimenting with simulations or automated responses to music based on my research findings

3) Written work to support visual work explaining the choices made, serving as a rationale for the work completed and possibilities for further research and practical progression.

Within this, I’m also aiming to do a lot of experimentation with image making in various ways…it’ll be interesting to see where it all leads.

May have to update this over time to reflect changes in direction – hopefully only minor ones though.


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