Music of Thoughts

Made by Claire Koh

It is a well-known fact that music can be an amazing tool for conveying emotion and triggering memories. What if you decide to combine the two, and create songs that represent your daily thoughts and activities? Music-of-Thoughts is a wearable device that records your heartbeat, steps, distance you've traveled, and if possible, even the amount of certain hormones in your blood - basically similar to fitbit or Apple Watch, but it will convert these data into a song. It will be able to keep track of your activities and emotions and produce songs with varying rhythms and chords. (For example when you were running that part of the song will be faster and when you were feeling down the song would be in minor chords) The device would also have a certain input system that would allow you to manually highlight certain parts of the experience (ex: when you were running and saw an UFO you'd press the button on the device and later on the song would have a loud 'ding' at that spot to convey the significance of the moment) After the device has finished recording songs, you'll be able to listen to them and revisit your past memories - basically 'listen' to your memories, thoughts and emotions.

Created: February 5th, 2019

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Intention

It is a well-known fact that music can be an amazing tool for conveying emotion and triggering memories. What if you decide to combine the two, and create songs that represent your daily thoughts and activities?

Music-of-Thoughts is a wearable device that records your heartbeat, steps, distance you've traveled, and if possible, even the amount of certain hormones in your blood - basically similar to fitbit or Apple Watch, but it will convert these data into a song. It will be able to keep track of your activities and emotions and produce songs with varying rhythms and chords. (For example when you were running that part of the song will be faster and when you were feeling down the song would be in minor chords) The device would also have a certain input system that would allow you to manually highlight certain parts of the experience (ex: when you were running and saw an UFO you'd press the button on the device and later on the song would have a loud 'ding' at that spot to convey the significance of the moment) After the device has finished recording songs, you'll be able to listen to them and revisit your past memories - basically 'listen' to your memories, thoughts and emotions. 

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Prototype


I was intending the device to be portable, simple designed with a simple input system made only of a recording button, play/pause button, and the fast forward/rewind buttons. The large button in the middle is for the user to press when they experience something memorable, which would then be converted by the device into an audio clip of something out of ordinary. 

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Precedents

There was an art installation by a CMU alum Terry Boyd. A part of the installation involved getting a tattoo - once a visitor picks the size of the tattoo they desire, and about where they want it on their body, the artist draws a random shape on the visitor's skin while telling them to think of the most meaningful memory. Once the artist has done drawing, the tattoo artist comes over and traces over the drawing with ink. 

I wanted to do something similar, but with a different medium - a music. I wanted the customized audio for the users to embed their memories and for them to be able to visit back their memories whenever they listen to the audio.

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Process

The process involved two main parts: constructing of the device and recording audio files that represent three distinct 'moods' or 'experiences' that the user has had. 

The device was cut out from cardboard with the outline of the button etched on it, and the audio was recorded via music app with virtual piano. I planned out the general mood/experiences of the user - neutral, sad, and then happy then surprised.