Week 23: transmogrification

Cymantics_subwoofer1Cymatics Typography1

Sound in water. Water sound images. Patterning. Cymatics. These were the original ideas for my project Paper/Song. I thought that the act of making paper and the sound it made could be turned into cymatic images which would illustrate resonance.

My intention was to visually demonstrate the joy of making paper though the sound vibrations made when the mould is pulled through a vat of banana fibre pulp and left to drip until the fibres meld together to form paper.

Throughout the last 22 weeks I have experimented with creating images in various forms, finally achieving a result through a series of artistic collaborations. First my recorded sound was slowed down by a sound artist until it became usable, then it was played through a musician’s bass subwoofer to achieve a series of water patterns (left) and finally translated into the complex pattern form (right) by a graphic designer. Each person brought their special expertise to my project and kept my enthusiasm alive. Thank-you Dr Matt Hill, Ami Pelu and Max Lyons for all your help.

The patterning inherent in the interaction of sound and water reveals an intricate interconnection of irregular forms, completely different to what I had anticipated. To create a cymatics image like those pioneered by Ernst Chladni (1756-1827) and later developed by Hans Jenny (1904-1972); I would have needed to play a tone through the water.

Instead, my images were created from sounds made by dripping water played through  water which yielded an image more like a Mandelbrot fractal than a geometric cymatic form. And yet…..there is something equally as intriguing and mysterious about these forms, an abstraction which overlaps, collides and transforms into completely new and unexpected shapes. A transmogrification!

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