An exploration in affective art

Drawing Music is an investigation in how music affects people. The project is connecting analog drawings with digitally manipulated music, and raises the question… How does my drawing affect the music, and how does the music affect my drawing?


The project was exploring sound and its influential qualities. It aimed at creating a synesthetic experience between drawing and music connecting the hearing and the kinetic sense. The installation merges digital and analog medias to create a rich and natural interaction.


The concept

Drawing Music is exploring how the energy, the mood and the tempo of a piece of music affects people. It serves to make visible how music affects the artists creative output. 

Interacting with the system plays with the expected modalities of interaction and forces you to explore how the system works. The system affords drawing, but gives no clues to how this effects the music. The experience of the interaction is an ongoing loop of manipulating the music through your drawing and the music manipulating what you draw.


The Installation

The artist wears headphones when drawing, creating an intimate, and personal experience. As the artist’s hand moves around the easel, the installation translates the movement velocity, in realtime, into the speed of the music being played. This allows the artist to be affected by the music initially, but also allows for control of both music and drawing.

The system works via a Leap Motion Controller which maps the speed of your drawing to the BPM of a midi file. Everything runs off a simple Processing program. The program starts when it detects a hand that is about to begin drawing. The music stops when the hand leaves the paper.


The art

These three art pieces are the first tests of the prototype. These were made by three different people at the IT University of Copenhagen.


The following drawings are from the public exhibition and were all drawn to Chopin’s “√Čtude Op. 10, No. 1”