In this six-minute film, the worlds of science, music, and visual art are all combined to produce a pretty hypnotic outcome. With the help from a film director, producer, cinematographer, art director, and crew, Nigel Stanford the musician (turned mad-scientist) was able to make Cymatics: Science vs. Music come to life.
Cymatics is the science of visualizing audio frequencies. The audio used throughout the film resonate from a keyboard, kick drum, and speaker which releases different audio frequencies onto the collaborative element, thus creating the visual and artistic aspect.
“The main idea was to create a video where every sound had a corresponding visual element,” Stanford told DEZEEN MAGAZINE. “It was an unusual project because it was created backwards – the music was written last.”
In the beginning of the film, Stanford uses loose sand on a Chladni plate (metal plate), which is attached to the speaker, creating symmetrical patterns on the plate depending on the pitch of the sounds.
In the next part of the film we see the hose pipe, which is attached to the speaker of a kick drum. The drum generates low frequencies so the hose pipe attached to the sub woofers releases waves of energy through the moving water, creating an astounding wave shape.
The crew got creative when deciding what medium to use when producing sound out of a speaker dish. After trying many liquids they settled on frozen vodka, as it’s viscosity was thick enough to maintain it’s shape in the air when the speaker released audio frequencies, thus creating a unique visual effect. No word on the brand of vodka used.
The coolest part of the film is probably the finale, where Nigel is filmed jumping around a massive statue of Tesla coils, high voltage devices that generate arcs of electricity in the air. Thanks to their design genius, Stanford is dressed in a suit that literally allows the energy to flow around and into the ground so the body and internal organs are not electrocuted. About 16,000 Watts of energy are released in one single shock of electricity, producing one last stunning visual element.
All Images © Nigel Stanford