Since the earliest days of media players with visualization software, such as Winamp, we have started to become accustomed to not only hearing, but also seeing our favorite songs. The pulsating animations on the screen brought an optical sensation to our experience of music. Artist Matthew Hollings aims to turn these into physical sculptures.
He has developed an openFrameworks app that renders a 3D printable solid form from a .wav file. Print_music is an attempt to materialize sound, to reify intangible (digital) music.
It is not the first attempt to 3D print music, and you might think “Why would we want to transform a digitalized vinyl record into a 3D printed analogue sculpture?”. The most exciting attempt so far is by a company called Reify. They developed a technique to 3D print a song and an app that lets you listen to the 3D printed sculpture by scanning it with your smartphone. Although they have released only one song so far, there will be more to come to open other possibilities of connecting our senses in new ways with digital technologies. What will the future of music look like?