Monthly Archives: July 2012

I will be working on experimental electronic music for this project as it communicates “emotions” to my audiences as well as it is able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting. Taking my audience on a journey by telling a story. The common trait in recent experimental electronic music is a concern with whether sound, in itself, bears meaning.

Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. More loosely, the term “experimental” is used in conjunction with genre names to describe music within specific genres that pushes against their boundaries or definitions, or else whose approach is a hybrid of disparate styles (Wikipedia)



One of the most famous and influential exponent of experimental music  was John Cage  who was best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″. It was performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. 


This is John Cage  4’33’ music score sheet. Pretty much experimental. 

The score comprises six lines of typed instructions indicating 3 movements, or parts as Cage refers to them, and each movement carries the simple musical direction ‘TACET’ written in uppercase. It is clear, bold and precise. The word ‘tacet’ is the conventional music term meaning ‘silence’ or more particularly ‘make no sound’. This instruction does not mean ‘do nothing’ and here lies one of the common misconceptions of the piece. It is often reported, sometimes by eminent music critics, that a performance of this work requires the performer to do nothing. But this is not the case. The performer is at least required to indicate the beginnings and endings of the movements and as our realisation is for radio we decided to use the familiar pips of the Greenwich Time Signal as our indicators – the short one for the beginning of a movement, the long one for the end.

Lets look at the other projects…



I Ching divination involves obtaining a hexagram by random generation (such as tossing coins), then reading the chapter associated with that hexagram.

Chart system was also used (along with nested proportions) for the large piano work Music of Changes (1951), only here material would be selected from the charts by using the I Ching. All of Cage’s music since 1951 was composed using chance procedures, most commonly using the I Ching. For example, works from Music For Piano were based on paper imperfections: the imperfections themselves provided pitches, and the I Ching was used to determine the methods of sound production, or the rhythms, etc.  A whole series of works was created by applying chance operations

His first mature visual project, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, dates from 1969. The work comprises two lithographs and a group of what Cage called plexigrams: silk screen printing on plexiglass panels. The panels and the lithographs all consist of bits and pieces of words in different typefaces, all governed by chance operations



As music is time base, a story needs to be written before is composed.

Inspired by Vladmir Nakobov who had color grapheme synaesthesia, the story consists of “letters”. Letters that define an object/thing/experience. For example : In the green group, there are alder-leaf #f, the unripe apple of #e, and pistachio #a.

Each letter eventually evokes a visual treatment based on the story.

Currently at the phase of researching types of music genres and settling down with the brand values and story. My target audience will be directed at music enthusiasts who are interested in the finer details of music.  In terms of marketing, currently music stores such as HMV do not display an interesting medium in selling “music”. It is usually enclose in a CD case presented to consumers.
Hopefully, this concept of “cross- sensory” experience can promote  a more interesting perspective of music visually base on our five senses.

Here’s a research about concept shop:

A concept store is a retail store that goes beyond simply selling products and instead appeals to a general sense of lifestyle by offering products to match the desires of those involved in a particular social scene. Rather than simply offering a selection of standard products for purchase, this type of store sells products that appeal to a particular segment of consumer. This particular segment, and the approach taken to appeal to it, can vary quite a bit among stores. A concept store typically has a single vision for the group it is appealing to, such as high fashion, urban fashion, or hipster fashion.

While there is no single form a concept store typically takes, in general it is designed to appeal to a certain segment of the populace. A store that is meant to appeal to those with an interest in high fashion, for example, might offer clothing by well-known designers, as well as shoes, perfume, accessories, and even electronics that are all established brands. These products would typically be those seen in fashion and entertainment magazines, and inventory would likely change frequently to stay in fashion. This separates such a concept store from a retail business that usually offers many of the same products from one year to the next.

The design and aesthetic of a concept store is also likely to be quite distinct, unlike a standard department store or retail outlet store. Since the store itself has a general concept with regard to the merchandise available, the design and decoration of the store often matches that concept. A store that is meant to appeal to “urban” or “street” trends might have bare brick walls, perhaps decorated with artistic graffiti and a design that reinforces the concept of the store. On the other hand, a concept store for “hipster” culture might feature dark walls, stark lighting, and play independent music that is popular in hipster circles.

A concept store can also be tied to a particular individual, usually a celebrity or someone involved in the entertainment industry. This type of store usually uses the name of the celebrity in advertising or the name of the store, and sells merchandise associated with that person, such as clothes or brands worn by the celebrity. Since a concept store is often designed around a particular fashion, social structure, or cultural trend, these stores may need to reinvent themselves to ensure they remain up-to-date on popular fashions.

Starbucks is the world largest chain of coffee shops, with around 40 million visitors per day. A visit to Starbucks is much more than a cup of coffee. By using a sensory marketing framework the company creates a deeper and more personal relationship with its customers. This is achieved by involving all five human senses to offer the customer total sensory experience.

As early as the 1980s Starbucks developed a strategy for creating and delivering a sensory experience to consumers as a way to strengthen the brand. Giving the brand further aesthetic and emotional values and dimensions was seen as essential to creating a view of the chain as a third place outside of home and work. A visit to starbucks should be an experience for the mind and the heart.

The inspiring environment makes it comfortable to read a book or talk with friends. The green and yellow of the interior, together with pleasant lighting, offer a soothing and restful visual experience. The relaxing music is selected with precision and care by the Starbucks content team to create the “sound of starbucks”. Add to this the smell and taste of the freshly grounded coffee, as well as the comfortable texture, solidity, and shape of the armchairs, and you have the characteristics of the sensory experience of the brand.

Starbucks uses a sensory marketing framework in creating an atmosphere where experiences can be shaped, emotions can be expressed and memories can be created .

The Sensorium – Synaesthesia


Our five senses help us to discover the world around us and communicate with others. Our brains process what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Knowledge of place/product is thus built from the sensuous experiences of physical space and its contents through time. The accumulation of information from our surroundings is derived from a fusion of human senses; sight, sound, taste, smell and touch, brought together through the orientation and movement of the human body. When such sensuous encounters are repeated or become an everyday experience, they produce a local knowledge of a place/product. Because of this, further knowledge about the human senses make a brand/experience more successful and an individual sensory experience more personalized. How can we use the idea of “Synesthesia” as an art technique to diversify an “experience” and gain additional insights?

This project contrasts visual ways of marketing a type of sounds/music involving our senses and creating a new human experience. In particular it explores the role of senses in how consumers experienced knowledge through the twentieth century and considers how it affects their perception, choices and behavior.

Target Audience: Music enthusiasts who appreciate the finer details.
Age group: 20-30s

Objective: To design and market a unique musical “cross-sensory experience” through creating a concept pop-up store. The intention is to attract music enthusiasts to experience sounds/music in an unconventional manner (Synaesthesia). It also serves as a platform for them to sell their music by giving it a more exciting and personal touch to their product.

Background Study:

Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia, plural synesthesiae or synaesthesiae) —from the Ancient Greek σύν (syn), meaning “with” and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), meaning “sensation” —is a neurological condition in which otherwise normal people experience the blending of two or more senses. Of the five human senses, the sight sense has so far dominated the rest. The most common form of synaesthesia is the experience of colors linked to letters and number that they see, the sound of words or music. Like pure emotions, music surges and sighs, rampages or grows quiet, and, in that sense, it behaves so much like out emotions that it seems often to symbolize them, to mirror them and thus frees us from the elaborate nuisance and inaccuracy of words. Music has inspired some of the most progressive art of our time from the abstract painting of Wassily Kandinsky and Frantisck Kupka to the mid century experimental films of Oskar Fischinger and Harry Smith to contemporary installations by Jennifer Steinkamp and Jim Hodges

Thus, the core of this project revolves around visual music that can be translated into a unique and new experience through other human senses.

In visual music(hearing), is usually coloured in some way, appears in the field of vision of a synesthete as a response to some form of aural stimuli. Synesthetic photisms usually vary in shape and color according to the nature of the stimuli that triggered them.  Synesthetes never see complex dream-like scenes or have otherwise elaborated percepts. They perceive blobs, lines, spirals, lattices, and other geometric shapes. According to Dr Richard Cytowic he notes that generic and restricted nature of synesthetic bears a considerable likelness to a series of forms first developed by Heinrich Kluver in the 1920s known as Kluvers “form constants”. These generic shapes are common to synesthesia, hallucinations and are frequently seen in primitive art.” Based on his observation, Kluver group the form constants into four categories: the chessboard pattern, cobwebs, tunnels, and spirals.

Under the chessboard design, lines usually intersect, creating squares, triangles, and any crisscross patterns. Hexagons that form a honeycomb image are also classified under this category. Images of tunnels and spirals tend to be very similar, but the tunnels have a distinguished center, which can either contain light or just plain darkness. It is possible that a form constant does not fit into any categories, as the images can vary widely. Scientists have tried to explain the theory that when a person is hallucinating, the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes images, experiences some interference, causing the images to become distorted, creating a form constant.


Generally, this project is about a concept shop retail experience that allows individual to acknowledge a unique experience that involves music in an unconventional manner. Hence, it will involve various forms of mediums ranging from video, collaterals and packaging to promote the brand. As music is the core of this experience, deeper research has to be done on music composition and also deconstructing music. These data collected will then be analyzed into parts, which seek to understand how a certain “notation” affects a medium, create an interesting visual and expanded further consistently.

Artist/Designer Input:

The focus of the design is base on a more visual and sensory experience. Base on our five senses in relation to music, it allows people to appreciate the finer details through experiencing the environment as well as the products. Due to a constrained space, it is not possible to design the entire store but to have a pop-up store to first introduce the experience and allow people to appreciate the moment. Lightings, colors and sounds play an important role in shaping this experience.