A Kokopelli’s Sound Shaper part 2- Finalisation

After the first review, we had a lot more interesting ideas given by Cheryl as well as the class. We know that there were a few changes necessary to make the final work even better, as listed below:

  • Remove the “kaze” shell that covers the inner mechanics of the final product

  • Tighten the mechanics and ensure that parts and pieces do not fall out of place

  • Install a “pin ball” mechanics to amplify the sound that runs through the final product.

First review

We thought it was interesting to have a pin ball machine installed on the back of the final product as through this way we could control how long the sound can be shaped into. However, it would be a hard task as the design is structured to serve a specific function, which is to mimic a Japanese fan-like wings. In attempts to creating a  pin ball machine at the back, we would have to structure the space properly to ensure maximum efficiency.



Pinball Machine Brainstorm

We added wooden panels into the design as we intended to create a stronger percussion/acoustic sound when the marble is dropped into the system. It emulates a pinball machine, with each panel placed slanted at an angle to facilitate the marble falling into funnel catchment area.

First Design
Wooden Stoppers

Apart from the usual wooden flanks to direct the pin ball down, we inserted small wooden poles into the system, this is to create a longer soundscape as the marble has to move through the wooden poles to reach the catchment area, shown above.

wooden planks

The placement of the wooden planks are also interesting as we had to place it at angles where the marble can flow down smoothly and making sharp and strong sounds, without being stopped at any point.

final pin ball layout
experiment with planks

We experimented with bamboo poles by heating it, allowing the fibres to be softened enough to bend. This bend allows the marble to roll and create an undulating sound of movement, however, it didn’t work out. We also tried to use the curved bamboo pole to hold down the pipe that serves as a tubing for the marble, but that didn’t work very well in terms of enabling dexterity.

Softening the hose

We also used the heat gun to make the hose more malleable, creating the tubing that directs the marble into the pin ball system.


Hole in tube

We used heat gun to soften the hose, which allows us to easily cut through it to create a hole that allows the marble to fall out of. This hole becomes the input that directs the marble downwards, through the pinball machine.


These wooden poles or planks act as redirection method common in most pinball machine. They not only elongate the sound of the final product, but also allow us to create a composition of mix and matches of sound. For example, the sound of the marble hitting the poles or the sound of the marble rolling down the wooden plank at an angle.

catchment area

We created a catchment area through the shape of a funnel that is detachable. We called it the cartridge. This cartridge allows us to insert it into the base of the product when catching the marbles. However, when we are restarting the pin ball system, we can take it out to transfer the marbles to the other cartridges.


The final composition of the pinball machine as shown above.

The Cicada’s wings


spreading of the cicada wings

The video above shows the demonstration, as well as final presentation of the cicada wings. The clip highlights the sound achieved with the final product.


perspective drawing of the product with kokopelli
joel as the secret cicada
spreading the wings
perspective drawing draft

Range of movement and sound lexicon


sound lexicon

Learning Points

Although the presentation wasn’t fantastic in terms of the execution, where the marbles did not come out of the system efficiently, we understood that there were errors in the choice of material. This choice of material could have been more sustainable and dexterous, such as wooden panels pointed out by Cheryl after our post-mortem check.

Wood would have been an easier material to create a sturdier structure in terms of holding everything together. The acrylic board and styrofoam of our product did not hold together due to prolonged wear and tear. It was functional in terms of its intended mechanism so that is good.

A fertility deity (updated)

1. Frog hearing versus human hearing

2. Chosen human body part and its movements

3. Two sound and sound fabric analysis

4. Kokopelli's "first fabric" incorporated with

   human movement and sound

5. Sound lexicon

Researching on how frogs and humans hear, I realised that there is a great deal of similarities on how both auditory system function. Represented by the diagrams below, it is apparent that frogs do not have outside ears to direct the sound waves into the inner noggin, in comparison to the humans who have outside ears that act as funnels. However, both humans and frogs have central ears, inner ears and ear drums that carry out the hearing capabilities.

In scientific terms, humans have the outer ears, which is the pinna that acts as a funnel that tunnels the sound wave into the external auditory meatus (central ear), which then creates the sound in the tympanic membrane or ear drums. In comparison to the frogs, this organ is absent and auditorial function happens without it.

Anatomy of Frog ears



Assigned body parts: eyes and arms

Researched eye movements:

Smooth pursuit movements are slow tracking movements of the eyes designed to keep a moving stimulus on the focus. Such movements are under voluntary control in the sense that the observer can choose whether or not to track a moving stimulus.

Saccades are rapid, ballistic movements of the eyes that abruptly change the point of fixation. They range in amplitude from the small movements made while reading, for example, to the much larger movements made while gazing around a room. Saccades can be elicited voluntarily, but occur reflexively whenever the eyes are open, even when fixated on a target.

Vestibulo-ocular movements stabilize the eyes relative to the external world, thus compensating for head movements. These reflex responses prevent visual images from “slipping” on the surface of the retina as head position varies. The action of vestibulo-ocular movements can be appreciated by fixating an object and moving the head from side to side; the eyes automatically compensate for the head movement by moving the same distance but in the opposite direction, thus keeping the image of the object at more or less the same place on the retina.

  • Vergence movements align the focus of each eye with targets located at different distances from the observer. Unlike other types of eye movements in which the two eyes move in the same direction.

research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10991/

Researched arm movements:
Action of the Shoulder What the Action Looks Like (Try It Yourself!) Primary Muscles
Shoulder abduction Lift your arms out to the side Deltoid: all fibers and supraspinatus
Shoulder adduction Lower your arms to your side Pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi
Shoulder flexion Lift your arms in front of you Pectoralis major, and anterior fibers of the deltoid
Shoulder extension Return (lower) your arms from shoulder flexion or lift your arms behind you Latissimus dorsi, teres major (“little lat”)
Internal shoulder rotation From the anatomical position, rotate your arm so that the elbow faces forward.
This action at the shoulder can occur when your arm is in different positions (flexion, abduction, etc.).
Latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major
External shoulder rotation From a position of internal shoulder rotation, rotate your arm so that the elbow faces backward. Also, anatomical position requires the shoulders to be in external rotation.
This action at the shoulder can occur when your arm is in different positions (flexion, abduction, etc.).
Infraspinatus and teres minor
Horizontal abduction For the start postion, lift your arms in front of you. The action occurs as you then move your arms out to the side. Latissimus dorsi and posterior fibers of deltoid
Horizontal adduction From the starting position, lift your arms out to the side. The actions occurs as you then move your arms in front of you Pectoralis major and anterior fibers of deltoid





research: https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/resource-center/exam-preparation-blog/3535/muscles-that-move-the-arm


Kokopelli, the spirit of music, has arrived in the emptied out City of Voids est. 2017. Everywhere Koko went, accompanied magical melody that turned sound into organic matter. The dormant citizens of the city laid in awe as the sound they feared and loved transformed into beautiful sculptures, blossoming around the city
sound of projector shutter
sound of handicap lift

Sound fabric

The sound of the shutter is a positive reference while the handicap lift is a negative reference.

The shutter sound is beautiful to many people as it symbolised artistic creation. It is not a sudden screech with staccato rhythm. The sound ascends the moment the shutter clicks, and descends once the photograph is shot. The rhythm is also not a full linear melody, with voids in between each shutter, displaying melodious positive and negative space.  This ascending and descending rhythm as well as negative spaces can be seen in the sound-wave.

The lift sound is horrendous as it is heavy and confusing. It has a deep sound that is very muffled, as if a monster roaring out continuously. It has a solid punch with each vibration visualised as a curve shaking on its own. The vibration and solid composition can be seen in the sound-wave.

With the presence of Koko, the film projector and lift merged into an organic form that could be physically touched by the citizens. It was otherworldly.


sketch diagram
origami sketch tutorial
the otherworldly amalgamation
the sound of shutter and lift echoed
closeup of “lift”
the citizens were in awe, and Koko explained the amalgamation.



The “shutter” is represented with the white paper, while the “lift” is represented with the brown paper.

The shutter can be seen as a composition that is positive, that ascends and descends in rhythm (but is likeable due to its symbolic value of artistic creation), depicted by the sharp edges of the tips. It is a sharp sound that has sequential negative voids amidst each shutter clicks, shown in the negative space on the paper.

Negative void between each shutter click


Reference to body part and movement

Researched eye movements:

The eye allows light to enter since it is translucent. It has lids that open and close, becoming a barrier at times, but sometimes clear as day. This motion of barrier is sometimes slow, sometimes fast, frequent and even random. The micro-movement extends to how the pupil dilates and contract, something we can feel but not see. There could be controlled and uncontrolled actions, how an eye blink to wash away dust, and how an eye blink because it senses an imminent threat of fight or flight.

The radial composition references to the way the eyes function, with a circular system that funnels light into the iris that allows the eyes to work. There is a strong sense of direction into the center that brings out that idea. The sound of shutter also reminds me of the blinking of eyelids. The central twirl of paper reminds me of the decentralised veins of the iris. The eye is also a translucent organ that uses light to function, hence, the design is filled with holes to allow light to pass though. The design below looks like an otherworldly door of sorts, with many opening that utilises light. It accentuates the subtlety of how light interacts with the eye, creating micro-movement of blinking or dilating. The central twirls depicts the micro-movement of the complex rigidity of the pupil, dilating and contracting.


Combination of “lift’ and “shutter”
Closeup of “lift” mass and depth

The composition of the lift is as explained, muffled and the vibration of the sound can almost be physically felt. It is also a strong sound with deep base. Hence, I made it into a twirling ball of curved paper that is intertwining. The action of shining a light onto the curves gives off a strong and dark mass onto the base that heightens the sense of depth, like the lift’s sound, shown above. This was because the light creates a strong contrast of shadows below the twirls.

side shot
top down
strong light


    chosen lexicon: muse, porosity, kokopelli.

Muse: I find the word “muse” relatable to my sound fabric as the concept and structure of my sound fabric originates from the ideation of the shutter. I found it inspiring especially with the meaning behind the shutter of a camera, symbolic of artistic creation.

Porosity: The word “porosity” is relatable especially because of the majority usage of holes and negative space. I used holes in this sound fabric to create the staccato rhythm in the sound fabric.

Kokopelli: The word “Kokopelli” relates to my sound fabric as I wanted the final product to be geometric and mystical in nature, in tune with my perspective of Kokopelli as an entity. The slightly curved geometry of the stars seems mystical, especially with the curved and overlapping negative space in between. The geometry is half-artificial and half-terrestrial.