Harmonic Paper/ 和

Harmonic Paper by Laewoo(Leo) Kang, Tianyuan Gu, Geri Gay

和 (He) by Leo(Laewoo) and Amy Chein

Publication: Kang, Laewoo, Tianyuan Gu, and Geri Gay. "Harmonic paper: interactive music interface for drawing." CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2013.

doi : https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468492 / download [pdf]
Kang, Laewoo, and Hsin-Yi Chien. "He(和): Calligraphy as a Musical Interface.", Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2010), Sydney, Australia download [pdf]


The project ‘Harmonic Paper’ is a stand-alone interactive interface that helps users explore the
relationship between music and drawing. By means of a microcontroller, MIDI codec IC and series of photocells, the interface detects the thickness and location of drawing in a letter-size paper(8.5 in x 10.5 in), and converts them into music note and sound volume. As shown in Figure 1, a user can insert a piece of drawing on the top of the interface(1) and crank the handle(2) in order to roll down the paper. While the paper passes the sensor box(3) that includes 15 photocells, it generates the sounds on real-time according to ink’s location and thickness with color LED light feedback.

The color of the lights are mapped by the order of corresponding sound frequency(i.e. C, D, E, F, G, A, B convert to Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet). The software interface is also provided in which users can virtually practice the functions of this hardware. Such combination of software and hardware allows users to create both musically-composed drawings and visually-created music.

He(和, harmony) is a sound installation that enables a user to play music by writing calligraphy. We have developed a system where calligraphic symbols can be detected and converted to a sound component including pitch, pitch length and volume into corresponding music. This novel sound installation allows the users including, musicians and calligraphists to expand their means of expressions.

Exhibition at Re-New Digital Art Festival 2010 in Copenhagen and NIME2010 in Sydney
Published in proceeding of NIME2010 in Sydney