Triad of Triads

Aqua resin, epoxy clay, 32 infrared sensors, 32 hacked greeting card sound modules, 32 speakers, custom circuity, wood, steel, dixie cups, and amp mesh, 24” x 24” x 50”, 2011

This sound sculpture prototype converts form into sound

Triad of Triads steals its form from a musical triad shape (three note shapes resounding at once) which emerges at 2min 5 sec in the animation "Quinta". The object started as a 3D computer model whose constituents were made up of several thousand vertices (points in space with x, y, z coordinates). I selected 32 of these points along the body of the 3d object, then built the object in real space and plotted 32 sensors to mirror the location of the 32 vertices. Afterwards, I wrote a program to converted the spatial point values (x,y,z) into their direct musical analogue (c#2, d3, g#4 for example). At this point, each sensor was set to trigger the precise sound (a musical triad, or chord) of the space it occupied in relation to itself. With each sensor triggering the sound of their space, this piece became a synesthetic experience synthesizing sound, space, and touch.

Triad of Triads exists simultaneously as instrument and sculpture and can be played by  touching or hovering your hand over a sensor.

Installation views


The Process

As mentioned above, I begin by selecting 3 note shapes (a musical triad, ie. a chord) which occured from within Quinta's architecture to determine the shape of the sculpture. Where Quinta translates sound (my music) into form, Triad of Triad seeks to convert form into sound. To do that, I select 32 3D coordinates from the surface of the 3D model, and translate these 32 3-value sets (representing the x,y and z coords) into musical tones with programming. Now that I have the sounds and the space they are meant to occupy on the model, I need to turn the 3D model into a real thing using 3D milling on styrofoam. As I assemble the styrofoam elements, I insert 32 IR sensors into their allotted spaces as determined by the 3D model. Then I seal the foam together with epoxy clay and coat it all in Resin. Finally, I wire the sensors to the rest of the electronics and finally out to the speakers.


T 609.213.5663 / / © 2016 by David Ostro. All Rights Reserved.

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