Visually Sound

Capstone 2022

When we think of music, we think of hearing. But do we ever really stop to think about how we see music instead?


This project aims to investigate the effects and significance of visual stimuli on individual music perceptions. When observing music on a societal basis, many people commonly overlook the importance of visuals in music listening and the extent that individual perceptions are influenced by visual elements. The project distinctly uses videos and images as both factors are meant to mimic two of the most commonly viewed visual components in music culture (music videos and album/song cover art). The project focus and significance then revolves around individual awareness to music perceptions as well as consumption choices. Therefore, through completely self-created content, the project stands as an interactive installation experience in which users are guided through two audiovisual scenarios from start to finish. Each individual user is able to hear songs separately from visuals and then together, being able to pair each situation as they feel best fit. Afterwards, users are shown distinct results that compare their inputs to other users. In this case, all data is collected and then used to compare and contrast each user’s choices. By doing so, the project experience offers a unique perspective on music consumption and listening by showing how and why certain visuals impact the music itself so heavily. The installation also includes specific narrative elements that are meant to mimic an AI system that “observes” each user. By creating a fake observation system, all possible song and visual outcomes are paired with unique phrases that add further engagement to the experience overall. As users make distinct pairing choices, the phrases create an interesting mood that adds another layer of content and character to the project. As well, in each situation, these phrases specifically stand as additional influences to certain audiovisual matches. If there is a common song and visual is paired, the phrase will cater to this choice and vice versa with uncommon pairs. Ultimately, these choices in content and interface design allow for a clear, captivating, and overall stimulating experience for users. What is then most important is not only how users interact with the installation but how their perceptions of music listening change once finished. By creating an experience that challenges individual likes and dislikes, the project effectively shows the impacts of visual influences on auditory experiences.


Class info

Capstone Studio
Sound,Machine Learning,Music,Narrative/Storytelling