The process begins with a short sound recording. The waveform is analyzed and the section heights mapped out to form the different sized beads.
The beads themselves are cut using a laser cutter. Materials with different colors and thicknesses are available; thinner materials allow for a more accurate representation of the waveform.
The project was first created in 2008 and released via Ponoko. This early version supplied the necklace in a very cute flat-pack cutout for the customer to assemble.
The production process has evolved with more recent versions so that the 13 different sizes of beads are pre-cut for quick assembly and delivery. Although the process seems inherently computational, it is actually done manually by Bizer himself. He creates screen-shots of the waveforms and then overlays stencils of the beads in Photoshop.
Not surprisingly the majority of sounds submitted by customers are love messages, with music samples a distant second. The poetic nature of encoding an intangible message into a tangible form is enormously appealing. The Shaper and Trikoton projects also explore this rich space, albeit with very different form and results.
Thank you to David for your time, and also to Tiago for pointing this project out to us.