My Personal Aesthetics and Project Inspirations

I think it’s very limiting to confine oneself to one single aesthetic, so in this post I’m going to talk about a handful of aesthetics that I feel align with my (or have been told that they do). Thinking about the aesthetics that exist in my life isn’t something I do often—I kind of just wear the clothes I like, listen to the music I like, and read the books I like. To figure out what aesthetic best describes me, I decided to do the most sensible thing I possibly could—take a BuzzFeed quiz. The one that asks question like “What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy day?” or “Which magical creature would you befriend?” In the end, the algorithm spat out “Classic Academia” as my aesthetic, and it’s honestly not far off.

Classic Academia revolves around vintage apparel, books, cafes, and a generally sepia color palette. Some of these things align with me, but some do not. For example, I almost always wear modern-style clothing, but I do enjoy earth tones. An aesthetic that captures my fashion style better is probably “Earthcore”, which uses a lot of earth tones and natural fibers.

While my taste in music could fit into Classic Academia (I did get a bachelors degree in classical music), the Synthwave aesthetic that I covered in my first post captures some of my music taste too. I really enjoy ambient synthesizer music, and I think that it’s something I want to attempt to incorporate into my final project.

I took a music course last year called “New Musical Styles and Practices” (which really covered musical styles from the 1880s to the present—that’s “new” for classical music), and one of the things we learned about was Javanese gamelan music and how it influenced French Impressionist music of the late 1800s. These gamelan orchestras are mostly percussion instruments (i.e. bells, gongs, drums, etc.) which are very ornately designed and produce a sound that’s very pleasing but unfamiliar compared to the sound of western music.

[2]. A collection of sarons.
I really want to explore creating something like the “saron” (metal xylophone-type instrument) from this style of instruments and find ways to incorporate elements of synthwave, likely through incorporating some sort of electronic element. I also don’t stand a chance at replicating the craftsmanship of these instruments, so I will likely need to change the aesthetic of the instrument itself into something more attainable. My ideas for this project are still in the very early stages, so it’s going to take a lot more planning to see what I can do!

[1] Image of old books. Retrieved from

[2] Sarons. Retrieved from

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Abigail Angwin
    March 4, 2024 12:02 pm

    Seems like a cool project! For this project are you prioritizing the visual or sound aesthetic of the instrument?

    March 4, 2024 9:51 am

    Very surprised to see gamelan here!! I love that style of music! Perhaps you can make an instrument just out of wood? Maybe a marimba or something similar. It combines the earthy-ness of your personality and your passion for music.

  • Barrett Lister
    March 3, 2024 10:47 pm

    Making a musical instrument will be very exciting! You are going to have to dig into both woodworking processes and metalworking processes, and I am curious on what kind of metalworking you might do as I am sure the sound of the metal is changed as you work the piece.


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