Creating A Music Player with Personality

Interactive installation for the newly opened Guitars The Museum in Umeå, Sweden. The Museum is the life’s work of two brothers, cultivating and collecting the finest collection of guitars, ever. The space is a celebration of music throughout the ages, and how it changes not just the lives of musicians, but of everyone. I worked to develop an experience that would celebrate and display the emotional connection between visitors and music.  


3 weeks - Individual Project
Skills - Prototyping, Processing, Storytelling, User Research

Design Process

I conducted interviews on the subject, “What was a meaningful experience you’ve had with music?” The experiences varied from concert halls, to living room floors, and runways to back alleys, yet every story could be reduced down to "How did the music make you feel?".

First Concept

These interviews linked how strongly emotions and music are related. I experimented with the idea of creating an installation that would feature an artificial intelligence that communicated its character and personality through music. While most music is used to create and change the emotions of other people, this interactive installation would use music to express its own feelings. I played with light and sound to develop a projection based creature.

Final Concept

Nicknamed "Aggie", the light based personality feels joy when it is played with, sadness when it is left alone, and communicates this all through music, simple tones and visual cues. Aggie is composed of Processing code, a projector, and a motion tracking camera which allows it to follow and interact with visitors.

Building a Personality

Here are some initial tests for Aggie's behavior done in Processing. A great deal of testing went in to finalizing the way Aggie moved: some forms were too abstract, while others were too easily ignored. Should it behave like a pet or a small child?