White Mountain, Black Water

Chenhe Zhang, Yves Pokakunkanon

An installation that explores the characteristics of water and utilizes them to create interactive music experiences.



Inspired by 'Water Pachinko' by Hara Kenya, 'White Mountain, Black Water' is an attempt on brining regular everyday substance to life.

In this project, we study the characteristics of water movement and its potential to create sound. By letting water drops traveling down through a white canvas that has small pins attached to it as obstacles, the water drops can either change direction, multiply into several drops or combine with other drops each time they hit the pins. This allows the water drops to move around vividly, putting life into it.

A microphone is installed next to the bowl below the canvas to collect the sound of the water dropping and use it as one of the sound sources. A camera will track the pace and positions of each water drops, turn them into numbers which will be translated into Midi notes. Each time water is being dropped to the canvas, it will make different sounds, emphasizing the uniqueness in movement of each water drop.

User will be able to use water as a musical instrument and perform with it while enjoying organic sounds created by water, mixed with electronic melodies that represent far-east style instrumental music.


Music Interaction Design