Week #1

Sound vacation

Group assignment with: Michal Shoshan, Jackie Chen

In teams, collect sounds for a sound vacation. This could be informational, fictional, sensual, spoken-word, musical. It could be about infrastructure, architecture, people, or something completely different.  Be specific, and transport us to another location through a 1-2 minute journey crafted through sound. No longer than 2 minutes please!

We had a lot of different ideas. We wanted to create a surprising, and perhaps mysterious experience that starts in one place and ends in another. Some of the ideas that came up were:

  1. A ball bouncing from wall to wall, gradually creating some rhythm with more sounds added, and suddenly stopping when a door opens and someone shouts: “Will you cut it?!”
  2. Imaginary sound of something really small or really fast happening — like something in the bloodstream, light bulb turning on in slow motion, electricity flowing through wires (muffled sounds)
  3. A take on our human intuitive reaction to some sounds, like gunshots, a very catchy song, chalk on board, sirens…
  4. A bird’s journey (to feed its chicks?)
  5. How an eclipse sounds. Or how “hope” sounds. Or “home”, or “doubt”...?
  6. A chess game between two people. No audible dialogue, only background sounds, such as putting down a chess piece, breathing, people watching, clock ticking…
  7. An old couple eating together at a restaurant without saying a word to each other.
  8. Mysterious sound (like something in the bushes, something happening). It becomes clearer and clearer and eventually it’s revealed to be something else entirely (like listening to natural sounds, but at the end someone says “thank you” and you hear applause. Or something that sounds really “big”, but turns out to be small, ending with “how much is it?”...)
  9. Throwing something, hearing it move away from us, then almost complete silence, and just at the end it hits something.
  10. A journey through time. Starting at jurassic age, through middle ages, up until the present and possibly the future? The transition between the ages is characterized as a specific sound - either like channel surfing or a man-made synthesized sound or fingers snapping.

Eventually we decided to go with the last idea — a journey through time. A journey that encapsulates the most common sounds humans could hear in their surrounding in each point in time, perhaps emphasizing the transition from "natural" sounds to man-made ones, to completely digital, and showing this sort of evolution of the sounds that surround us.

We started writing down the timeline, which is something along the lines of:

  1. Jurassic age / stone age / jungle / Hunters-gatherers
  2. Trade -> capitalism -> market -> money
  3. Middle ages (horses, church bells?…)
  4. Industrial revolution -> locomotives -> factories -> riots(?)
  5. World wars (gunfire, rockets, bombs), papers rustling (print), Radio broadcast, silent film music
  6. Babyboom era / home making -> Phones, Oven, kitchen timer, mixer…
  7. Radio (moon landing), Music (Elvis / Beatles / Guitar solo), Disco, arcades
  8. Beepers, Internet dial up, PC startup sound
  9. Online messaging, mobile phone notifications, “Hey Siri”, Apple pay
  10. Possible future sounds? (Things flying fast, or wind whooshing as if we're all gone...)

We still have some open questions we need to decide on:

  1. Should we finish with the present or maybe try to speculate about the future?
  2. Theme — either location based (New York) or the sounds humans were most likely to hear in their environment
  3. Transition sound — channel-surfing-like or finger-snapping-like
  4. Wondering how specific should we get? Like a combination of both ambient sounds and coherent sounds layered together?

To be continued...

X button icon

Jasmine Nackash is a multidisciplinary designer and developer intereseted in creating unique and innovative experiences.