Sunday, March 18, 2012

Contrapuntal : Music and Design as One

Individual Model
 Contrapuntal Design: 

Contrapuntal: "Contra"-> of or relating to 4 distinct parts. "Puntal" -> point or note

Contrapuntal design is a design related to music composition.  Each group was assigned a piece of music and was told to create a composition using 12 Bamboo sticks and 12 pieces of paper.

My group was assigned Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 

- Choppy    - Exciting       - regulated     - ordered chaos
-Upbeat      - rhythm         - Conversation   - flutter

I concentrated on the conversation aspect of our song.  We noticed that there were two distinct parts within the song: masculine vs. feminism.  It starts off with a heavier, louder composition which we designated as masculine and then abruptly switches to a softer, yet still fast composition we labeled as feminine. It switches back and forth from a heavier masculine tone to a feminist tone throughout the piece.  It was almost like the two parts were talking to each other.  Within the piece there is also a undertone fluttering that happens every other measure.  I incorporated these elements to create my 3-D design.  I used a cross shape to demonstrate the "fighting" between the two parts and then incorporated the paper within as the different notes that helped tie the piece together.  The ridged paper represents the fluttering while other notes were just held throughout and stagnant. 

Group Model
Group Project: Once everyone made  an individual model, we had to incorporate all of them to make one complete model that represented our piece in the best light.  We listened to the piece over and over to help understand the characteristics.  As a group, we also concentrated on the conversation aspect.  The bottom of our piece represents the masculine aspect with the indented bamboo sticks pointing downwards to add to the sharp, intense moments.  We contrasted that with the pure white paper to represent the femininity aspects. The paper was folded according style to keep the rigidity the song has but allow us to fan it outwards as the song grows.  The pieces were placed staggered to also add to the rigid irregularity.  The two pieces are connected by a solid band to represent the abrupt, clean stop into the other "conversation".  We kept the top open so that the bamboo would still show through. 

In general, listening to music and then having to come up with a 3-D representation is difficult because music and materials have different characteristics.  Music is flowing, changes easily and created from many different individual instruments.  All of our pieces had 4 different parts to them, usually violin based.  There were two soprano or higher toned violins that carried on the melody while the bases keep the constant beat or contrasted with the other pieces. We tried to keep the characteristics observed in the music in our model.  Our song and model could be broken up into fours.  There were four instruments, a 4/4 tempo meaning each measure was broken up into four beats or notes.  In our model, we used 24 bamboo sticks and 12 pieces of paper. Both of those numbers keep within the number four and enhance the balance.  Dynamically, music has a variation of high and low volumes as well as high tones and low tones. We tried to include these spots in our model by the rigidy within the paper and carved bamboo sticks as well as the staggered layers.  Overall, our design is a take on a well known piece of music to help characterize it with design elements.

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