There are sounds around us all the time, so what if you could record those sounds and mix them up into a song? That’s what Jun Fujiwara was thinking when he created Sound Bottle. He is a student at the Tama Art University and received the Naoki Sakai Prize at the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards last year.
The device uses an Arduino controller for the sound recording and crunching. The recording software will create a remix that will playback every time the bottle is uncorked. Each time it’s recorked, the Sound Bottle resets and a new remix can be created. If you want to pause the remix, give the bottle a shake.
Here is his synopsis of his work:
This is a music medium that can reproduce a recorded voice as music. It makes a database of sound sources that is managed and used as formal and automatic repetitions, and forms a music medium of the day. I felt something missing in the habitual use of music reproduction media, so I thought to create an interactive music medium that changes. By using everyday voices as sources of music, the sounds that are heard all the time every day carry infinite possibilities and help us reaffirm the enjoyment of music. I hope people can experience their own music.
You can see the Sound Bottle in action in the video below. It is a pretty nifty little project if you ask me. I especially like that you have to uncork the bottle to play back the created music.
Kirby also appeared as a TED speaker on the subject with his talk ‘Embrace the Remix‘.
Kirby talked about his analysis of creative work, which falls into three categories of either copying, transforming or recombining existing elements. Many legends of music like Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin more or less admit to using existing songs and melodies in their work. It’s how they learned to find their own style. Stand up comedian Richard Pryor taxed the time it took him to find his own voice to about 30 years. Similarly scientific break throughs aren’t leaps of imagination but often a transformation or recombination of previous knowledge and tools. Kirby took Henry Ford as the example of combining conveyor belt and other elements of mass production and deployed it for the automobile (which he didn’t invent).
What resonated with me was that seemingly original ideas often reveal their influences, and that it is ok to work like that. If we can admit that we are standing on the shoulders of giants, we can relax and keep inventing by transforming and recombining. And preferably avoid the pure copying. I think too often discussions in advertising are about the copying and plagiarism and used as a sledgehammer to cristicise and put down any transformative idea.
Kirby’s talk was organised by the resourceful guys from Portable as part of their Portable Talk series. I have already signed up for their next event with one of the makers behind ‘LookBook.nu’, Yuri Lee.
In case you haven’t noticed this site yet, it must be one of the most influential in terms of online fashion and (what they call) ‘Collective Fashion Consciousness’. Think of it as a ‘Sartorialist’ times 1,000. Book your front row seat here.