I have long admired and appreciated the later abstract paintings of Wassily Kandinsky, credited with creating the first purely abstract work, which lead me to the discovery of his writings relating to spiritualism, colour and music in art (Kandinsky, 1911). Moshe Barasch discusses Kandinsky’s work further and states “Kandinsky often tended to identify ‘spirit’ with ‘sound” (Barasch, 1998). I also became more captivated and intrigued by relationships between sound, pattern and the vibrational impact on matter based on the research and studies of Ernst Chladni and Cymatics by Dr Hans Jenny, whereby the structures were reminiscent of forms recurring in nature. Cymatics has demonstrated that specific musical notes found in music correlate to creating distinct standing wave patterns (i.e. order) at certain levels of frequencies, with chaos ensuing between the different levels of frequencies or musical notes known as the “Faraday instability point” (Reid 2016).
Previous research into this area had taken me from Da Vinci to Plato, to the science of Kepler, the musical works and musical performances by musician Nigel Stanford and finally to more recent work of the Humanistic Nature Society of Shanghai (2015), TED-X talk on Cymatic Art, where artists presented works in photographic print, and created a video performance relating to Kepler’s ‘Music of the Spheres’ (i.e. sounds of the planets), leading on to the more recent work of artist Pamela Paulsrud whom combined sand with papermaking.
Observations and demonstrations of Cymatics so far have been carried out with salt, sand, flour, cornflower solutions and even styrofoam (recently demonstrated in Japan which illustrated levitation and 3D representations) alongside other experimentations such as the research by Reid which provides some useful information for further thought and consideration with respect to working with water and 3-dimensional structure of sound in water creating CymaGlyph’s using a Cymascope and taken further by others including the use of balloons, mirrors and lasers … and thus the list goes on, i.e. too many to mention here.
Kandinsky, Wassily (1911) Concerning the Spiritual in Art, and Painting in particular 1912 translated by Michael T. H. Sadler (2004), Kessinger Publishing
Barasch, Moshe (1998) Modern Theories of Art 2 – From Impressionism to Kandinsky New York University Press
Arnold, Lynda (Nov 23, 2014) How sound affects you: Cymatics An Emerging Science (based on the works of Dr Hans Jenny). Retrieved 10th October 2018 from https://ask.audio/articles/how-sound-affects-you-cymatics-an-emerging-science
Stanford, Nigel (Nov 12, 2014) CYMATICS: Science vs Music. Retrieved 10th October 2018 from https://youtu.be/Q3oItpVa9fs
Humanistic Nature Society, Shanghai (Nov 20, 2015) Cymatic Art: Ted-X Sound Resonances or the Praise of the Void. Retrieved 15th October 2018 from https://youtu.be/v77t5w0xnrU or http://www.art-llnd.com
Reid, John Stuart (October 2016) Secret of Cymatics. Filmed at the Water Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, October 2016. Retrieved 17th October 2018 from https://youtu.be/uMK3OVBjx2Q
Pamela Paulsrud. Sound Narratives – The Chakras. Retrieved 30 December 2018 from https://pamelapaulsrud.com/section/15958_CYMATICS.html