Body Sounds

Sound instrument in collaboration with jewelry design.

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The body is not just a display, when the body is an active member on the relationship with jewelry, the movement can be translated into light and sound signals.

Special thanks to María Posada who designed the hand piece and helped generating the concept of translating the body movement into sound; Professor Matthew Akers who has supervised the project since its creation; and Haley Trash who performed on the presentation of the project.

Accelerometers read the movement of the hands and send it to a WeMos D1 R2 board. There it is transmitted through OSC messages using a WiFi connection to a computer with a Pure Data patch that receives the messages and generates sound. The design of the hand piece was 3D printed. The accelerometers, along with an LED that reacts to the readings of the accelerometers, were placed inside. 

By Ana Marín, MFA Sound Design, In collaboration with María Posada, MA Jewelry. 


Test including the RGB LED and Pure Data.

MPEG-4 Video - 6.17 MB - 08/29/2018 at 00:18



First successful transmission from accelerometer data to Pure Data.

MPEG-4 Video - 5.04 MB - 08/29/2018 at 00:17


Body Sounds Performance.wav

Audio from the performance. María Posada SCAD Thesis Show, Spring 2018. Performer: Haley Trash. Sound Engineer: Ana M. Marín.

Waveform Audio File Format (WAV) - 19.64 MB - 08/28/2018 at 23:15


Body Sounds Video.mp4

Video from the performance. María Posada SCAD Thesis Show, Spring 2018. Performer: Haley Trash. Sound Engineer: Ana M. Marín.

MPEG-4 Video - 14.02 MB - 08/28/2018 at 22:26


  • 2 × MMA8452Q Accelerometers Sparkfun
  • 2 × RGB LED
  • 1 × WeMos D1 R2 2 I2C connectors and WiFi ESP8266 included. Programed in Arduino IDE
  • 1 × 9V Battery To power the WeMos
  • 1 × Computer with Pure Data OSC receiver and a combination of oscillators

  • Body Sounds

    Ana M. Marín08/29/2018 at 00:07 0 comments

    The Pure Data patch (named Cochlea) was done so that a user can select the type of oscillator they wish to use. The port has to be selected to initiate the reception. Some sound modifiers (mainly filters and a reverb patch) were included. Although work is still on process with the idea of improving it so that it can be integrated with VCV rack or another sound generator capable of receiving OSC messages, the piece is functional and was presented in the Jewelry Thesis Show of Spring 2018 at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).

  • Broken Telephone

    Ana M. Marín08/29/2018 at 00:03 0 comments

    The data had to be transmitted over WiFi. At first TCP/IP was being used with mixed results. Connection wouldn't be successful, there was lag or data would be lost. On the same Arduino Forum it was suggested to pack the data from the accelerometer as OSC messages and use the mrpeach library in Pure Data to unpack them and then process them. 

    A drawback was the connection of the WeMos to a Network. Eventually it was possible and the transmission started as OSC messages. 

  • Design Challenge

    Ana M. Marín08/28/2018 at 23:27 0 comments

    In conversation with the Jewelry designer, it was agreed on working with two accelerometers. One for each hand. She liked the LED as it was an inspiration to her design. It was decided that two RGB LEDs will be used in the piece. The use of the serial port was discarded as the ideal was for the piece to be worn by a dancer. WiFi transmission was decided. 

    It was also decided to include optical fiber to add more impact to the use of light. The piece, on her review, went through different changes, from including the cable communicating the accelerometers and LEDs on the hands, to the board, to conceal it from view so that only the piece, and the sound generated, caught the attention of the spectator.

    These changes were a challenge. The board had to be changed from an Arduino UNO to a WeMos D1 R2 (suggestion from a help request on Arduino Forum). It includes two I2C addresses, needed to read the two accelerometers, and an integrated WiFi module, saving both time and money.

    A PCB design was implemented as the accelerometer and LED (with their resistors and cable connections) had to fit in an small space. Communication went back and forth to properly design and 3D print the hand pieces.

  • Beginnings

    Ana M. Marín08/28/2018 at 23:26 0 comments

    The first tests began with reading information from an MMA8452Q accelerometer with an Arduino. An LED was used to confirm that data was being received and could be manipulated. The accelerometer's information was then transmitted over serial port to Pure Data, where a patch with a single oscillator object was placed.

    At first, on the Arduino code, the data from the accelerometer was being mapped to MIDI notes. These numbers where then received in Pure Data. For whatever reason, the numbers were not corresponding, a 60 sent was received as a 0.3 or other related numbers. Adding an mtof object on the patch helped produce sounds, however, low frequency and random noises, but still sound.

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