Solar Echoes is the name of a double album by an ambient electronic artist named Nigel Stanford, who is a native New Zealander and now lives in New York. A few days ago he released a video for a single from the album named “Cymatics”. “Cymatics” is the name for the science of visualizing audio frequencies. For the video, Stanford and the video’s director Shahir Daud created a series of “experiments” designed to show visual representations of the music.
They assembled an assortment of devices that create imagery in response to sound frequencies, including a Chladni Plate, which vibrates in response to sounds played through a speaker, causing grains of sand on the plate to arrange themselves into various patterns and shapes; a Hose Pipe; a Speaker Dish (filled with frozen vodka); Ferro Fluid; a Plasma Ball; a Ruben’s Tube; and — for the finale of the video — a Tesla Coil.
Now here’s an especially interesting aspect of this project: The video was filmed before the music was composed. In the case of all those science experiments, Stanford, Daud, and their crew found tones that would create the kind of imagery they were looking for, and then Stanford composed music that incorporated those tones — and the music became the single, “Cymatics”.
You can read about the process in detail at this page. Stanford and Daud also created separate videos with “behind the scenes” explanations of almost all the experiments and how they were filmed for the video.
The music isn’t metal, but it’s pretty cool all by itself. The video is lots of fun to watch, and if you’re like me (i.e., a science geek), you’ll get an extra charge out of both what you see and hear, and how this was created.
Solar Echoes can be downloaded here, as can the single for “Cymatics”. Nigel Sanford’s Facebook page is at this location. Below I’m including the video plus one of the separate “behind the scenes” clips.
(thanks to Old Man Windbreaker for tipping me to this)