Linear Harmony

Dominick Chang

Linear Harmony in an interactive audiovisual installation that explores the process of discovery, using simple forms of sound and light. The mechanics of the piece are guided by concepts in western music theory, focusing on the circle of fifths.


Linear Harmony is an interactive audiovisual installation that aims to instill a sense of discovery, using simple forms of sound, light, and space. The piece is initially at rest, and requires input from the viewer in order for it to begin and continue progressing. No instruction is given to the viewer, but motion near the piece will trigger an initial sequence. Inspired by choose-your-own-adventure stories and ideas of multiple timelines, Linear Harmony assigns the twelve notes in the system of modern Western music to a “timeline”. Each note / timeline has slightly different mechanics for how it operates, based on different ideas in musical harmony. Twelve points of light will be projected onto the floor at equidistant points along a circle. Each of these represent one of the twelve notes / timelines and will be the points of interaction for viewers. The initial choice establishes that specific note as a tonal center by playing a four-note chord. Pathways are then drawn to other points along the circle, highlighting other chords that make sense in a functional harmonic progression. This creates a system that both sonically and visually highlight the relationships between chord structures and progressions, while allowing for an experience with a myriad of possible outcomes depending on the user’s choices.