Common Sounds Transformed Into Artistic Visualizations

Common Sounds Transformed Into Artistic Visualizations

Husband and wife team come up with an innovative way to see sound as an image.

Betsy Mead
  • 21 march 2013

If you’re a synasthete, this won’t be particularly mind-blowing. But for everyone else, the idea of making sound into an image is rather amazing. Born of Sound has come up with a way to translate what you hear into something tangible that you can see. The service will make a sound into “three-dimensional art,” incorporating any variations in vibration, tone or pitch, and, unlike other versions that seek to turn sound into art, will take into account the nature of the air in which the sound is moving.

The idea, conceived of husband and wife team biomedical engineer Ashik Mohan and lawyer Jenelle Mohan, took flight when Jenelle saw sound form a microphone on her audio-editing software, and pondered what her voice “looked” like. From there, the couple applied the biomimicry principle to sound. Ashik said to Wired:

We looked at the way sound pressure waves affect the air around us. It’s much like watching rapids flow through rocks – it’s at once chaotic, streaming, beautiful, dynamic, unpredictable and one interaction affects the other. The same is true of sound-forms.

Before the couple could embark on forming this highly ambitious software, they had to consider the physics and mathematics behind it, such as examining the turbulence, pressure and other paramaters associated with sound software. After consulting with authorities, and creating an initial image, they sought to ensure that their output is reflective of the reality, a process which they are still working to perfect.

The final images are available in a variety of sizes, and the creators are looking towards bigger goals for their software, such as making a sound mural associated with the noise of an area and using it to benefit people with hearing issues. But there’s also a historical slant. As Janelle put it,

A sound-form is a time capsule as well as a time machine. It captures a present moment, something that is moving and limited in duration, and allows that sound to be preserved on canvas, shared and past down to future generations. A sound-form allows someone to go back in time and see what a specific moment would have looked like if they could have seen that sound at the time it was made; it’s a way to connect the future and the past.

Have a look at the gallery of sound images below.

Born of Sound


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