Listen Listen
London, 05.2009
Book, 125 × 210 mm, 24pp
Compact Disc, 14 tracks, 6.50mins

Book/CD component of an MA project experimenting with the interpretation of type through sound.




The work was based on a method of calculating the black to white ratio within a typeface according to the contrast between the glyph in a font and the space in its surrounding bounding box. These ratios were then ‘converted’ into sound, using sine tones whose frequencies expressed the same ratio. The premise being that a specific aural tone could be calculated for each letter, which when combined with the tones corresponding to other letters, could be used to ‘spell’ words and texts through sound – creating sonic interpretations of the typographic ‘colour’ of the text. Please see here for a more in-depth explanation of the project.

The book is effectively the same book twice, with no ‘front’ or ‘back’. The central essay appears twice, typeset in Univers Bold (65) going in one direction and again in Univers Light (45) going in the other direction. Half of the book is always upside down, depending on which weight the reader wishes to read it in. The accompanying CD plays the sonic interpretations of the text – 1 track per page, alternating from one tonal range to the other.

The audio clip below plays through in chronological order pages/tracks 1—14 from the book: