Cymatics – a cool way to visualise sound
What are Cymatics ? – in a nutshell it’s the visual representation of sound through the creation of geometric patterns. As some of you might know, sounds have certain audio frequencies. If a certain matter is stimulated by those frequencies it can create a visual pattern out of it.
An example of it is the Chladni Plate. It consists of mounting a piece of glass on a speaker and placing some sand on the piece of glass to get the vibrations coming from the speaker to create moving patterns in the sand.
Whatever the science – there are some very visually pleasing ways of using this phenomenon.
Nigel Stanford, a well-known Ambient and New Age composer from New Zealand, decided to use cymatics to come up with a really clever idea for a music video. On his website, he tells us he came up with this idea after a documentary about Synesthesia piqued his interest. If you want to find out about how it was done you can go to Nigel Stanford’s website.
You should also definitely check out what Cymascope did with their Cymascope App – the world’s first app to make the geometry of piano sounds and music visible. The imagery you see is not a computer simulation; all the beautiful imagery in the app was created on a physical CymaScope then stored in digital memory for us to enjoy.
As well as playing the piano and using your voice to trigger the patterns, some of the more interesting features include being able to play a live instrument or recorded music through it as well as being able to connect a video projector. Similar in concept to Shazam although instead of finding the title and artist after listening to a song it would show you it’s cymatic patterns.
Björk also used projections of Cymatics to great effect for her Biophilia tour by synching the patterns to a few sounds and the bass line from individual songs in the album.
Cymatics representation of the bass line. Björk – Moon
Contact us if you want to know more and let us know if you have any more creative examples of cymatics in use…