"Cymatics" Music Video Explores the Visualization of Audio Frequencies

A viral music video featuring several fascinating sound experiments is making its rounds across the internet this week. The song title, "Cymatics," refers to the science of visualizing audio frequencies. 

Cymatics is the science and study of visible sound through vibrations. To illustrate its artistic capacity, New York-based musician Nigel Stanford created a music video featuring several fascinating cymatic experiments. Released about a month ago, "Cymatics" is now really picking up steam on sites like Reddit.

Through slick photography, Stanford and director Shahir Daud are able to demonstrate the effects of sound waves on fluids, sand, powder, and fire (by way of a Rubens' Tube connected to a keyboard). For the video's finale, Stanford unveils a Tesla coil which scatters electric discharges through the room to the beat of the music. It's really quite a wonderful watch.

Check out the video below:


Stanford has released a bevy of information detailing each experiment as well as a series of behind the scenes videos to explain the visuals. As Stanford reveals, the song itself was written as the video was being filmed. This allowed the team to produce the most visually striking effects. The clip below focuses on the Chladni Plate seen at the outset of the music video. Here's how Stanford describes using it:

"After finding out what frequencies resonated the plate the best, I selected four shapes that looked good, giving me four notes to use for the musical instrument that would accompany it. Because the sand took a few milliseconds to move into the next shape, I couldn't change notes very fast, and so wrote something that stayed on each note long enough for the shape to form."

For more of these videos as well as a ton of information about the video's visuals, be sure to check out the Behind the Scenes article linked below.

Read more at Nigel Stanford

Be sure to check out Stanford's new album Solar Echoes

Photo credit: Nigel Stanford (via Vimeo)

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