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Fish Frequencies

New Frequencies | Projects

  • This project is an experiment in sound generation.  Using the random movements of fish, music is generated by tripping sensors that trigger different sounds.  Watching the fish is mesmerizing and relaxing.  The project can be programmed to generate different kinds of music which can alter the mood of a space.


    Doctors' offices are typically seen as high stress environments.  In order to ease the minds of their patients, doctors often design their waiting rooms in ways to help quell people's nerves.  One such item commonly used are fish tanks.  There is something about the rhythm of the bubbles, the slow melodic movements of the fish, and the plants swaying in the water that brings the mind at ease.  So, why not take this a step farther?  Why not add other elements?  That is exactly what Fish Frequencies attempts to do.  By taking something as hypnotizing and relaxing as a fish tank, and adding music (or something resembling it) on top of it, an entirely new experience is created.

    Using a series of laser sensors set throughout the fish tank, this project is able to track the movements of fish.  When the fish come in contact with the lasers, a signal is sent to the computer, which then outputs a note or melody.  The combination of these notes over time creates a completely unique piece of music.  

    While Fish Frequencies might seem like an odd idea, it could have a number of interesting real world applications.  As stated earlier, it could be used in high stress locations such as doctors' offices, adding another layer of relaxation.  In a slightly different scenario, it might also be interesting as a centerpiece in either a house or a restaurant, a talking point for all who see it.  However, wherever Fish Frequencies ends up, it is sure to catch the eye.