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Paper Music For A Blue Room by Molo

From molo design:

Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen, co-founders of the Canadian multidisciplinary design studio molo, announced today that along with American sound artist Ethan Rose, they have created experimental prototypes that have the ability to turn their award winning paper softblock room dividers into speakers. The sound system does not use traditional speakers but instead seamlessly integrates transducers which sonically activate the paper layers making up the structure of the expandable and flexible partition system.

Although the system is purely experimental at this point, molo plans to eventually make its unique sound system commercially available.

molo will demonstrate the system during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City from May 19 – 22, 2012. Sound artist Ethan Rose has created a sixteen channel composition that draws from a range of musical and “paper sounds”. Rose’s composition will resonate its music and sound within a room constructed from molo’s indigo blue paper softblocks.

Visitors will experience a very physical sensation of sound with different sounds emerging from different locations within the paper block room. Touching the paper blocks you will feel the vibrations of the music. Intuitively, people almost always reach out and touch the paper softblocks, running their fingers across the vertical paper fins, creating a very satisfying tic, tic, tic…. rhythm. In this installation the paper softblocks become both instrument and speaker. Ethan’s composition includes recorded rhythms of fingers running across the paper fins, layered together with other musical sounds and when this all comes together in the three dimensional space of the indigo room people will add the music of their own fingers to the experience.” said Forsythe, describing the installation.

Prototypes have been created that turn molo’s softwall + softbock into speakers, whereby sound vibrations travel through the paper fins of the blocks. Wandering in and around a ‘torqued’ cube of stacked blue paper blocks you will hear the sounds of Ethan’s paper music. The music will literally envelope the space. With this design our modular and flexible blocks produce very clear high and upper mid-range sound. softblocks can be shaped to create unique space within large areas – a place of unique layered sound” said MacAllen, describing the application.

As part of molo’s continuing exploration of flexible walls and temporal space making, this installation marks the introduction of a new vibrant indigo blue colour for paper softwall + softblock and softseating. A deeply saturated indigo colour has been selected because the light absorbing and reflecting properties of indigo enhance the qualities of light and shadow in the pleated surface of molo’s paper walls, seating and building blocks, creating a rich texture that shifts with the viewing angle as you move around the block walls.

Previously, molo collaborated with Ethan Rose on the 2009 project northern sky circle. Todd MacAllen, Stephanie Forsythe and the molo studio designed and built an ephemeral outdoor room using only snow. Ethan Rose composed a sound piece, based on recordings of snow and ice, that was played inside the room.

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