Chladni Songs

Two songs for written for the human voice and chladni plate. Vocal melodies are chosen based on sequences of patterns and their associated frequencies.

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. These intricate patterns are visible evidence of standing waves. 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.

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 a second Chladni Music piece (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.

148 Hz

312 Hz

624 Hz

914 Hz

1125 Hz

1519 Hz

1792 Hz

2023 Hz