Chladni Singing

Chladni patterns were discovered by Robert Hook and Ernst Chladni in the 18th and 19th centuries. They found that when they bowed a piece of glass covered in flour, (using an ordinary violin bow), the powder arranged itself in resonant patterns according to places of stillness and vibration. Today, Chladni plates are often electronically driven by tone generators and used in scientific demonstrations. With carefully sung notes and a transducer driving the plate, I'm able to explore the same resonances. Songs are then written based on sequences of patterns and their associated frequencies. An adaptation of this project was developed as a permanent exhibit for the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. It debuted in 2013. You can see resources and a history of this project here.

Chladni Singing – Exhibit Prototype from Encyclopedia Pictura on Vimeo.

A prototype developed with the Exploratorium's Central Gallery.

Special Thanks to:

Jordan Stein
Thomas Humphrey
Earl Stirling
David Torgerson
Ray Greunig
Tom Thompkins
Mat Porkola

Chladni Singing 2009 from meara o'reilly on Vimeo. Film by Lisa Foti-Straus.

This film was on display at the San Francisco Exploratorium from March 27th-April 15th, 2010 as part of a show about unusual sound explorations and instruments in the Learning Studio Gallery

I performed new Chladni Music (accompanied by a Glass Bottle Orchestra) on July 9th, 2010 at the Berkeley Art Museum during an event created by David Wilson. More information here.