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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Is there music behind the way we speak? Respoken is an interactive installation that creates an experience from the user’s voice. A stage for self-expression and an invitation for intimacy manifesting the spirit in light and sound. The installation makes music from the way in which the user speaks, capturing the distinct tone, pitch fluctuations, rhythm, and timbre of our voices to create a symphony from vocal expression.

Users can record speech over a microphone and listen to their words become music, in synchrony with light evolving around sound. Yet the experience is only as good as the story shared. The installation provides an opportunity to recall the experiences that shape our identity and vocalize them to listen to the music behind our words. Our respective memories are infused with personal meaning, and the way we express them carry the potential to create a personal soundtrack. The user’s individual expressiveness becomes the key and structure for personalized music; thus, every interaction is unique. The emitted sound and light interaction will depend on the content and length of the original recording. The repeated audio will mirror the length of the original input, but the sound will be completely different.

User perspective view inside installation. Voice from the audience controls sound and light interaction.

Research interests, inspiration, questions, prototypes, design iterations, and exhibitions leading to the final development of Respoken.




Design layers behind final installation:

1. Lamp frame
2. LED light and LED light holder
3. Tracing paper cover
4. Fabric cover
5. Light

Architectural and technical details behind Respoken installation. Perspective view, top view, elevations, lamp detail, lamp suspension detail, and DMX and electronic pipeline.

Voice to music animation. The words of the audience are musicalized. Any sound recorded onto the installation will become music.


Previous Exhibited Iterations

Respoken at Ars Electronica 2021 Garden London: PolySocial Realities and Virtualities, FOLD, London, September 10, 2021.

Respoken at Camaradas MX-UK Art Competition 2021, The Koppel Project Exchange, London, 28th July – 1st August, 2021.