Music Made Visible

//Music Made Visible

Music Made Visible

Have you heard of the cymascope? It is an instrument that makes music visible, creating detailed 3D impressions of sound vibrations. Music is represented not as waves, as is commonly believed, but as beautiful holographic bubbles, with shimmering kaleidoscopic patterns on their surface.

See the rapidly expanding musical sphere captured in a frozen moment above. The interior reveals a beautiful and complex structure representing the rich harmonic nature of violin music.

The cymascope uses a high definition camera to monitor the effect of an individual sound’s particular vibrations on purified water. Due to the high surface tension of the water, the harmonics of a particular sound create a unique imprint and just like snowflakes no two sounds are alike.

New Zealand artist Shannon Novak commissioned pictures to be made of the notes of a chromatic scale on the piano and these will be blown up in size for a series of 12 musical canvasses. He said: ‘I have always been fascinated with the translation of that which is invisible, into something visible that individuals can relate to, in particular, the representation of sound through colour and geometric form.

Further information on the cymascopec can be found in this Daily Mail story.


By | 2015-08-21T05:16:09+00:00 21st August 2013|In the news|0 Comments

About the Author:

Courtenay joined GJO in 2012 after working in Hobart where she was a board observer with the Optometrists Association of Australia, TAS division. Since joining GJO she has been active in assisting in the Indigenous Eye Program and has undergone ocular therapeutics training towards registration as an Ophthalmic Medicines Prescriber. Prior to her optometry career Courtenay gained a Bachelor and Master degree in Music Performance from the University of Queensland, and was a Board member at state level for the Australian String Teachers Association. Courtenay continues to perform as a seasonal orchestral member with various groups, including Brisbane's Camerata of St Johns, and has a large base of young cello and piano students, whom she has enjoyed tutoring for over a decade. Her Optometric interests include paediatric optometry, orthokeratology and the diagnosis and co-management of eye pathology. Courtenay has also combined her unique skills to develop GJO’s Vision in Music Clinic, a first in Brisbane aimed at providing eyecare solutions for budding and accomplished musicians alike.

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