01 September 2005

A wee introduction to cymatics

I have some very beautiful video footage of cymatic formations upon sand and iron filings that I use to show the class I speak to at the University of Alberta. I imagine very few people outside of certain physics, music, and occult circles are familiar with Hans Jenny (1904–1972), the father of cymatics, the study of wave phenomena.

I just posted this quote from the design book Super: Welcome to Graphic Wonderland, in a recent post:—
«The letter bears no intrinsic relation to the sound it refers to,» says one of them.

«In other words,» he adds, «there is nothing that makes the sound A resemble the letter A, in any way.» … «The letter is abstract form.»

The Jewish kabbalists insisted that not only the words, but also the very letters of the Holy Scriptures were fragments of an infinite network of potential interpretations. Every textual unit was precious, containing, as they liked to put it, the Breath of Life, and every letter was numbered, with the various textual fragments adding up to ever new sums and subtotals cross-referring to one another in an unbounded melange of meaning. Here, much as the letter itself was God-given, its reading and significance was open.

«Arguably the opposite of what is happening today.» says the designer who has spoken last. «People can sense that form is a historical construct, but it remains a mere support, a crutch, a prosthesis for content. And content,» he adds, «content is secured and guarded by sementic dogma. By hermeneutic dogma.» He looks down, scrutinizing his snow-white Lacoste running shoes. He sighs. «By pop semantics and hermeneutic faith,» he says, sadly shaking his head.

Interestingly, one of Hans Jenny's more complex experiments include a spherical vibrating water droplet containing fine particles, these particles then formed into a 3-Dimensional star (or dual) tetrahedron shape with surrounding circles as shown above. I've also come across this site, fUSION Anomoly, which purports:—
In his research with the tonoscope, Jenny noticed that when the vowels of the ancient internal languages of Hebrew and Sanskrit were pronounced, the sand took the shape of the written symbols for these vowels, while our modern languages, on the other hand, did not generate the same result. How is this possible? Did the ancient Hebrews and Indians know this? Is there something to the concept of "sacred language," which both of these are sometimes called? What qualities do these "sacred languages," among which Tibetan, Egyptian and Chinese are often numbered, possess? Do they have the power to influence and transform physical reality, to create things through their inherent power, or, to take a concrete example, through the recitation or singing of sacred texts, to heal a person who has gone "out of tune"?

This would seem to parallel the comments made by the aforementioned graphic designer about the nature of original Holy Scriptures (I like to point out that the crap we have today has lost so much of its esoteric power, it's not even worth going into here).

Further links as I gather my thoughts into coherency:

I am starting to see a much larger, clearer picture. Well, more so than I was months ago, at least…


channel null said...

Much as I'd love to believe the thing about vibrating Hebrew vowels actually altering reality, because that would make my Golden-Dawn-scamming ass actually have an effect on reality and thereby justify all my whacked-out behaviors... Hebrew has no vowels. It uses dots above consonants, and those are entirely optional. I'm not sure about Sanskrit, though. Maybe footage could clear up the confusion.

In any case, excellent work as always, your weblog has been something of an inspiration to me. Now, it's time to go put shit in my hair and get gussied up to not have to pay maximum cover but still drop $$$ on cabs and drinks to keep my whiney club-going friends from abandoning me completely. I wish I could remember where I put that dexedrine.

Cyclotron / Daryl said...

Hello cymatics blogger! Wow you say you have video footage of the phenomenon in action and I cant find any on the net. Is it possible for you to digitise this information and mail it to me? This is the type of amazing stuff I want to show people on our rural community development project. Please reach me by going to www.freestateprojects.org and finding the contact us page. Many thanks! Daryl

Bart said...

I would love some videos as well. I have been researching sound from a scientific, artistic and shamanic/healing aspect for a while, and it's good to see others led to the same interests. Keep up the blogs and let me know if there are some to download. My site is at http://www.soundbringer.com.

Anonymous said...

i thought you might like this
Cymatics vid...


y-bhav said...

Can anyone tell me how to MAKE a tonoscope? What kind of frequency generator do you use?

Don said...



Key words via Google

telesound said...

Cymatics sound therapy

Gary Ash. Uk said...

I'm not sure these shapes reveal any hidden Sanskrit symbols... but check out these images here -


Gary Ash . Uk said...

Apologies for my bad typing. that last link should be:


Fell said...

Thanks, Gary. =]

Anonymous said...

Is there any Canadian university doing a research on cymatics or effects of sound on human body?

Fell said...

None that I know of off the top of my head. Worth doing some research on. The closest thing I can think of my Michael Persinger's work on the so-called God helmet, out of Laurentian University. The fields they'd be playing with (electromagnetic, I believe) would be creating similar wave patterns within the skull of the person the helmet is affecting. I imagine? How relative that is, I dunno. Maybe not so much.