BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


September 08, 2006

[8.9.07] Water, Materials & Sound (II)

A few days ago I spent some time extending my explorations of visualising sound through water by introducing some additional materials. Primarily my intention was to create a process where I would by able to imprint sound waves onto a surface, I came up with the following series of methods.

1. Water, paper, instant coffee.

A piece of paper is immersed in a very shallow amount of water, as the metal surface vibrates and makes the sound waves visible on the surface of the water, grains of instant coffee are dropped in the centre of the paper. A low sine wave frequency of 65.4 Hz (i.e C2) was used to resonate the surface of the tray, only a small amount of volume was required to make the waves visible.

As you can see by the image (above), it is a little hard to tell whether the sound waves are affecting the movement of the dissolving coffee grains. Paper was used with the intention of allowing the coffee to stain its surface, in effect 'imprinting' sound and giving it some kind of permanence.

2. Water, instant coffee.

Similar method, though no paper used this time, just the shallow water and the coffee grains. The same sine wave frequency of 65.4 Hz was used.

Again, difficult do really determine the waves influence of the dissolving coffee grains, but visually it was quite interesting.

3. Water, ground nutmeg.

Finally, some success. Nutmeg grains were immersed in the shallow water, and one the had settled on the surface of the tray, the C2 tone was played and left for one hour. The images below show the formation state in ten minute intervals. To observe the details of the process I uggest you click on the image below to enlarge it. (don't panic it's 'websafe')

I would say that my experiments in this field have been exhausted for the time being. I will revisit them when I can find a means of applying them in an appropriate installation and/or performance context.

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