Doo Yul Park’s MFA thesis, SONANOS, combines musical and ludological ideas into a unique interactive landscape. The project is a prototype for Park’s concept of “Interactive Visual Music”, in which visual and auditory elements are intertwined to create wholly original works of synaesthetic art. By using intuitive, simple-to-use game mechanics and basic harmonic loops, SONANOS invites players to build their own complex multisensory creations.
Using a mouse-and-keyboard based interface, SONANOS players guide an angelic avatar through a vast digital space, sprouting, reforming and destroying unique treelike structures with a few clicks of the mouse. Each of these structures, in turn, corresponds to a unit of music. By growing these trees, altering the space between them, and activating them, the player can create and manipulate original melodies.
As the trees and their accompanying sonic elements grow to higher levels of complexity, the user will begin to interact with other more complicated objects, such as creatures that move about the environment, affecting the trees in various ways. The user can guide these creatures in various directions to further control their song.
Once the song is fully formed, the user has several options; they can continue to play their song, they can save it permanently to disk, a musical remnant of their experience, or they can summon another creature, the Angel of Destruction, to destroy the melody in a grand cathartic gesture before they begin again.
With its combination of user-controlled generative sights and sounds, SONANOS is both a tool for artistic creation and a piece of art in itself. To learn more about Doo Yul Park’s thesis project, you can read his paper by clicking here.