in MA, My Work, Process

間 MA’s Very Obscure City of Voids (Part 1 – Individual Mood Box)

For this project, we were tasked to record sounds by playing musical instruments. From that sounds, we had to use the visuals from the sound and create modular structures.

Modular Structures

Modular structures can be considered a group of different forms or structures that are joined together to create one larger structure. The different components are called modules, hence the term modular. In other words, modular structures is an accumulation of different forms in one structure.

Examples of modular structures


As a group of 3, we recorded two sounds where one of them will eventually be used to create our models.

Using a set of metallophones, a pair of rhythm sticks and two textured slabs, we created two sounds that are both different in terms of the usage of the instruments as the Dominant, Sub-dominant and Subordinate.

  • Dominant sounds are the ones that have little or almost no gaps between them. Something that is played most frequently compared to the rest.
  • Sub-dominant sounds are the ones in the middle. It is neither the least frequent or the most frequently played sound
  • Subordinate sounds are the sounds that are least frequently played. They are the sounds that have the longest gap in between. Most of the time they are long sounds, as in sounds that would echo or ring before it stops.
Sound 1

So in this sound, even though it is not played first, the dominant, which is the metallophone, constantly playing even though it is 2 different notes. The subdominant is the texture slabs, crashing into each other but less frequent to the metallophone. The subordinate sound is the rhythm sticks, played the most frequent with a double tap.

Sound 2

The sound started with the two textured slabs rubbing against each other forming the dominant sound. The rhythm sticks, tapping at a constant rhythm is the sub-dominant. The subordinate sound is the metallophone, playing at an increasing tone and repeat, while still having the longest gap in between, being played the least frequent.

The sound that I will be going with is Sound 2. I chose that because there is a difference in the 3 different sounds that can help picture the structure better. The different sounds also create individual stories/structures even when each of it is played by itself.

Sketch Models

To turn the sounds into a structure, I have decided to see how each sound could be represented and then combine all 3 features into one modular structure.

For the dominant, I would picture it being something rough, like a rough textured surface. So I have decided to make it into the base of the structure, being a rough irregular ground surface.

Used the penknife at an angle to create rough and irregular texture

End result

Before I start on the subdominant, I would say that the subordinate sounds like glass or icicles, something fragile, so it would be represented by something transparent. It also has an increasing tone so I have decided to represent that by showing an upwards rise or something that climbs.

The subdominant to me sounds like footsteps. Combining with the elements from the subordinate, I would represent this by creating stairs that go upwards.

The entire composition of the sound sounds like an adventure through a cold and silent environment. So I would like to keep the whole structure simple as if it could echo, and use of transparent elements to show fragility and that it is made of ice or glass.

Final sketch model

Top view of sketch model