Voices are converted into gemstones in these unique works of art

Voice Gems translates voices into physical objects

coloured gemstone
(Image credit: press)

Voices become works of art in the hands of London-based beatboxer, creative technologist and vocal experimentalist Harry Yeff, who translates voices into physical objects in his project, Voice Gems. The recording of a person’s voice takes the shape of a gemstone, in a multitude of colours and forms, the result of years of research with Vietnamese multidisciplinary artist Trung Bao. Together, the pair have created a ‘voice fingerprint’ that is brought to life by a 3D printer, which can then transform more than 200,000 mineral particles into a unique form.

‘Our work explores how all of our voices are one of a kind,’ Yeff says. ‘A previous system created one-of-a-kind sculptures from our voices. During a performance in New York, I was approached by one of two lovers, who requested I create a piece from their laughter. This piece was then used as a gift to replace a diamond engagement ring, and the Voice Gems concept was born.’

Voice Gems: physical and digital gemstone sculptures

woman standing next to pink gems, created by Voice Gems

(Image credit: press)

Voice characteristics such as pitch, resonance and volume contribute to shaping the unique design and colours of the gemstones. To bring the piece to tangible life, all the process requires is the voice recording. ‘The information in this is more than enough to create something stunning,’ says Yeff.

‘It's an experiential project – waiting to see what kind of work the system generates is part of the process. So far, all the works we have created have had a deep trust in the system and every outcome has been stunning; this is the result of spending many years thinking about generative systems. We like that this generative artwork has a manifesto, the system has rules, that’s what makes it special. There is no random outcome – every facet is considered, so all outcomes are refined and unique.’

So far, Voice Gems has created gems encompassing everything from a newborn’s first sounds to the voices of those who have passed away. Says Yeff: ‘A work like this can exist as an artwork, a physical sculpture or a projection the size of a building – it’s a very powerful aesthetic and conceptual asset.’ 

blue gem

(Image credit: press)

white crystal

(Image credit: press)

yellow gem

(Image credit: press)



Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.