Making the sound visible

Cymatics (from Greek : κῦµα «wave» ) is the study of visible sound and vibration , a subset of modal phenomena. Typically, the surface of a plate, diaphragm or membrane is set in vibration, and areas of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin layer of particles, paste or liquid. Different patterns appear in the excited medium according to the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency.


by  Lauterwasser

The object can be simple, just like an ancient Tibetan singing bowl, that is rubbed to make the surface vibrate . Other experiments were performed on a Chladni plate or sophisticated tools such as CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries in sound and music.

When Pythagoras discovered the relationship between sounds and lengths of vibrating strings, it allowed seeing what we could until that day only hear. He invented numbers, geometry, and a model of the cosmos in which everything resonates with everything: Music of the Spheres . The power of the concept is that the resonance is an observable natural phenomenon, be experienced in daily life, playing a central role in living processes as in the inert material.

A number of researchers lasted this research, and it is with Ernst Chladni (1756-1827) that this research opened a new way, producing amazing results.

With sand on a metallic plate set into vibration by a bow he observed regular figures drawing with the motion of the material along areas of oscillation. These are the famous Chladni Figures.

C38 Chladni_top_tile

Different geometric patterns that appear in the medium depend on the nature of the material and the sound frequency. Sound, with some harmonics and some frequency literally structure matter. These generated patterns remind us the Kenes , geometric designs , a form of written language of the tribe, which represent the spirit of different animals and plants as part of their cosmogony. Kenes are also associated with an energy and a song. They are worn as body paint or woven to embody the strength of an animal.