12 Piano notes made visible for the first time 

Shannon Novak, a New Zealand-born fine artist, commissioned us to image 12 piano notes as inspiration for a series of 12 musical canvases. We decided to image the notes in video mode because when we observed the ‘A1’ note we discovered, surprisingly, that the energy envelope changes over time as the string’s harmonics mix in the piano’s wooden bridge. Instead of the envelope being fairly stable, as we had imagined, the harmonics actually cause the CymaGlyphs to be wonderfully dynamic. Our ears can easily detect the changes in the harmonics and the CymaScope now reveals them—probably a first in acoustic physics.

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration. By sending sound waves through matter such as sand on a plate a cornstarch and water mixture, various geometric patterns emerge depending on the frequency and amplitude of the sound being played.

Matter itself is made of atoms which are all tiny oscillators vibrating in the structure of the vacuum and are each made of 99.999999% space. By understanding the structure and dynamics of space we can better understand everything in the universe…

Nikola Tesla was correct when he said “Our entire biological system, the brain and the Earth itself, work on the same frequencies.” It’s time to tune our biology and our consciousness to resonate with the fundamental harmonics of the universe.

Cymatics, the study of wave phenomena and vibration, is a scientific methodology that demonstrates the vibratory nature of matter and the transformational nature of sound. It is sound science, and amazingly cool!

By using sound waves to excite liquids & solids Cymatics reveal a beautiful symmetry through this interaction. Strange & alien looking patterns emerge evolve and transform, constantly shifting between states of order and chaos.

Many patterns are directly related to the geometric figures descended from Hebrew gnosticism and the Egyptian mystery school, commonly known as ‘sacred geometry’.

Ancient teachings and modern science agree: you, I, all living things, all things in existence are made up at their most essential level of vibrating, pulsing energy.

This photo shows a 21Hz - 33Hz sweep


“From my own observations, some of the harmonic overtone partials of A=432hz 12T5 appear to line up to natural patterns and also the resonance of solitons. Solitons need a specific range to form into the realm of density and span from the micro to the macro cosmos. Solitons are not only found in water mechanics, but also in the ion-acoustic breath between electrons and protons.” – Brian T. Collins


Sonic Water is a cymatics installation by Sven Meyer and Kim Pörksen that demonstrates the visual effects of sound on water. 

About the project:

In the beginning there was sound. The reason cymatics exerts such a strong fascination is that we are not conditioned to “see sound”. Cymatics is like a magic tool that unveils the true substance of things audible, but conventionally invisible. With it one can recreate the archetypes of different forms of nature. So sound does have form and cymatics enables you to comprehend that it not only affects but causes form in matter. In fact, we think sound had a fundamental influence on the formation of the universe itself. But that is another story. Primarily, we are fascinated by the simplicity of this subject. All it takes is sound and a very basic medium such as water to create… well, what could be (and in our view is) the coolest sound visualizer.

Still photos don’t convey the project nearly as well as this video:

SONIC WATER from elfenmaschine on Vimeo.