SPECULATIVE SYNTHESIZER DESIGN
2021

工尺 - 01 | Gongche - 01 | Taiwanese style Beiguan Synthesizer 

工尺北管合成器

西方透過合成器摸索並驅動一系列肉眼不可見的波形物理,以其背後嚴謹的邏輯關係,創造得以被人們耳朵所聽見的電子音樂。而這種行為上的再物質化,恰如同台灣的北管文化透過層層堆疊的儀式行為,將東方虛擬的神聖世界以象徵化的手法與世俗生活連結,形塑了獨特的台灣民俗文化。
In the Western culture, synthesizers allow users to adopt a series of physical icons to control invisible waveforms. The rigorous logic behind this is to create electronic music that can be heard by the human ears. The dematerialization of behavior resembles the ritual acts of Taiwanese Beiguan, which connects the Eastern sacred world with secular life in a symbolic way and helps shaping the unique Taiwanese folk culture.
背景資料
Background

合成器是一種發聲裝置,是利用電流的改變產生音色,將原本人去操作樂器的行為交由程式與類比電路完成,這就是合成器的運作原理。而我們觀察市場上現有的合成器,我們發現因為其歷史以及發展背景,大多產品上都有如琴鍵、數字化介面等西方符碼。
A synthesizer is a sound generating device that uses the change of electric current to produce tones, letting the human operation be completed by program or analog circuit. While observing the existing music synthesizers in the market, we found that most of them present western symbols such as piano keys and digital interfaces, due to the history and development background.
反事實
Counterfactual



本作品大膽嘗試以「推測設計」中的「反事實」作為工具切入產品設計。我們探尋了西方合成器的發展脈絡與自身文化特色的元素,並以此虛構了一段以東方主導電子樂的架空歷史,希望使我們設計的合成器擁有在文化上差異的操作邏輯,而非僅僅是外觀上的設計;亦即創造一台以東方為骨、西方為皮的東方合成器。
This work is a bold attempt using the "counterfactual" in "speculative design" as a tool to cut into product design. We explored the development of Western synthesizers and elements of our own culture, and used them to create a fictive history of electronic music dominated by the East. We hope our synthesizer would have a culturally different logic in operation, not just the appearance of the design. That is, to create an Eastern synthesizer with the East as its bones and the West as its skin.

台灣北管
Taiwanese Beiguan

在資料收集的過程中我們發現了台灣在地獨有的北管音樂——北管為台灣民俗文化的重要符碼,無論是聖誕慶典的繞境排場,或是婚喪喜慶的生命禮俗。北管音樂暗示人們處於某種神聖而不可見的閾限下。藉由北管音樂、傳統民俗工藝以及程式化的儀式行為做為媒介,將台灣龐雜的民間信仰轉變為具體的形式。這些不僅承載著地方的歷史與文化,同時也為我們提供大量的設計元素。
In the process of data collection, we discovered the unique Beiguan music of Taiwan, which is an important cultural symbol of Taiwan's folk culture, regardless of the parade of holy birthday celebrations or the rituals of weddings and funerals. The music of Beiguan implies that people are under a certain sacred and invisible threshold. Through the sound of Beiguan music, traditional craft and programmed ritual behavior, Taiwanese folk beliefs are transformed into concrete forms. They not only carry on local history and culture, but also provide a lot of design elements for us.

操作邏輯
Operating Logic

我們以北管作為基礎做發展,將北管的編曲與出陣元素隱喻於介面及操作邏輯,讓操作者在使用過程中能意會到北管豐富的文化資產。例如出陣中各式旗類的含義、排場板鼓的指揮功能、酬神的扮仙劇等。產品名稱「工尺」的由來便是源自於北管中獨特的「工尺譜」。工尺—01內建的音色包含了北管樂器的取樣,讓使用者可以運用北管曲牌進行嶄新的編譯及演奏。
We use Beiguan as the basis for development, and metaphorically incorporate the elements of Beiguan music arrangement and parade formation into the interface and operation logic, therefore the operator can be aware of the large cultural asset of Beiguan in the process. For example, the meaning of the various flags in the parade formation, the command function of the Bangu drum, and the Bannsehn drama to thank the gods. The product name "Gong-Che" is derived from the unique "Gong-Che-Pu" of Beiguan. The built-in timbres of GongChe-01 include samples of Beiguan instruments, allowing the user to compile and play Beiguan repertoire in a reborn way.



介面設計
Interaction Design


細節照片
Detail picture


技術開發
Technical Development
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設計目標
Design Goal

音樂創作者由於市面上工具的限制,讓整體音樂環境創作較難突破西方的編曲框架,亦即以器物的政治性影響力觀點來看待主流音樂文化的發展。本作品重新審視了電子產品背後的價值與責任,以「推測設計」提供使用者新的詩意美學。不僅僅只是單純放入北管的元素,更採用早期工業大量生產的語意來訴諸真實,以此來滿足表演性。工尺—01擁有其真實存在的功能(北管音色庫),同時亦有一定程度上思辨的價值,希望能達到推測設計與商業性的結合。
Due to the limitation of the tools in the market, it is difficult for the music creators to break through the western composing framework, that is, to view the development of mainstream music culture from the viewpoint of the political influence of artifacts. This work re-examines the value and responsibility behind electronic products, and provides users with a new poetic aesthetic by "speculative design". Not only simply adding the elements of Beiguan, but also using the semantics of early industrial mass production to appeal to reality, thereby achieving the performativity. GongChe-01 has its real function (the Beiguan sound library), and it also has a certain degree of speculative value, hoping to achieve a combination of speculative design and commerciality.
Team member:
王駿騰 Wang, Chun-Teng / 陳錡淵 Chen, Chi-Yuan
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Project Advisor :
施皇旭 Shih, Huang-Hsu / 陳建雄 Chen, Chien-Hsiung
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Special thank:
林大嵎 / 詹欣玥
Gongche-01 | 工尺-01 | Taiwanese style synthesizer
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