I love Bowie.

His epic musical talent and the capacity to iterate powerful characters and motifs was striking and world beating. Let alone the amusing and biting lyrical edge to his songs, the space troubadour has always inspired me.

How does a pop superhero relate to Son.im?

I knew to properly represent my agency and its unique offer, a word would need forging combining the literal, abstract and functional; this practical dimension enabling a working URL. Transitioning the visual brand into digital territory.

Don’t you wonder some times ‘Bout sound & vision?

Broken down into its constituent parts, the anatomy of the URL and logo combination are represented graphically;

Remarkable things developed from this point as the combined logo/motif started to speak to me, informing a way forward.

Beyond the font based logo, the abstract visual motif took on a life all its own. Sketched and reworked repeatedly on paper to then jump out from the flat screen and into 3 dimensional reality.

Combining 3DPrinting, creative thought processes and my deep interest in musicality led to synthesis of a real object; an actual thing. Nicknamed “Burr” (the closest existing everyday item that acted as a suitable analogue), further creative endeavour led to the Japanese art of Netsuke

A joyful discovery!

The venerable and truly ancient craft of creating micro sculptures, bead like and hand made to represent people, spirits and folklore. Used to fasten personal possessions inside beautifully crafted boxes (inrō), which were held shut by ojime, which were sliding beads on cords.

I also introduced the fascinating field of Cymatics into my research. The simple and beautiful practice of reproducing sound wave nodal patterns in visible form, making it a powerful educational tool as well as fine art and experimental inspiration. 

The deeper I looked into this oddity, (tumbling down the Rabbit hole) the more it connected to other important things.

This eternally looping GIF is a quick sketch of influences combining wave forms, Cymatics, Netsuke and abstract pattern research; mashed together into a visual animated scamp. 

Rendered simply (from the 3D model created in preparation for 3DPrinting) the valley like peaks and troughs of wave forms and abstract letter elements can be seen.

From numerous quick sketches to a photo traced vector illustration giving a DXF file, made dimensional via a 3D Model. Reality is the next step:

3DPrinted in Stainless steel, the 18mm diameter “Burr” transformed into branded acoustic sculpture and is incredible to interact with and handle. Work is continuing to test new patterns and surface finishes giving unique, tune-able audio signatures (video and audio of the effect below).

Made real (synthesized) they literally sing  when rolled across a hard surface: the “Burr” producing a unique vibratory tone. This tiny object gives a musical performance that can be controlled and curated.

This has led to the development of engaging, immersive and interactive tactile acoustic sculptures that able or non able bodied participants can explore and enjoy through kinetic music generation. The surface designs directly orchestrating and changing the performance given…(much more to follow on these novel and innovative acoustic sculptures).

The “Verball” (Burr like) spherical instruments are unique and their wide scope for innovation and development will be explored further through experimentation, exhibition and engagement.

Combining motion, touch and sound via kinetic sculpture ties together very instinctive human and physical elemental forces to enable simple play to make musical performance.

Framing the logo and “Burr” motif over timeless, ancient natural images that echo the patterns, musical wave abstract elements and visual beauty amplifies its impact (The new Son.im logo and motif will be rolled out across this site as project additions, image revisions and updates allow);

Richard Grant - Artist Profile

Richard Grant is the founder of www.Son.im – a studio that bridges concepts (art) and technology (show craft).

Primarily a maker of incredible things (from a very young age) he combines strategy and experience with deep perspective.

Working and collaborating with NASA, HRH, Disney, RCA, Abbey Road Studios (An invited Mentor at the first ever RED Hackathon 2018) among many others for incredible projects and is delighted to be part of the Hackoustic.org artist roster.

His sculpture work combines simple powerful ideas involving acoustics and immersion and engages primal senses such as hearing, touch, sight and smell. Intentionally encouraging audience participation through novel technical invention in  traditional, digital and additive manufacturing arenas through collaboration with brilliant individuals and organisations.

Fortunate to have worked globally with the biggest brands, Artists and establishments whilst resolving and leading creative projects, mentoring and producing. His work is recognised through feature film, digital content, brand advertising and experiential projects following on from an extensive career in the UK feature film industry: IMDB.

Richard mentors and advises across many industries and exhibits his personal sculpture work at specialist events and installations:


Always happy to discuss new ideas, bespoke projects and commissions: Please get in touch.