Cymatics – Part 1: Bringing Matter to Life with Sound

28 mins1984

Here is the first of two films made by Hans Jenny around 1970, which comprise this program entitled Cymatics. A half-hour of visually astounding images portray how unseen forces can shape, transform and destroy the seemingly solid structures that we see all about us. The stunning array of experiments seen in these two films are actual physical phenomena evolving before our eyes — as audible sound excites various liquids, powders, pastes and iron filings into processes which mimic atomic, geologic, biological, solar and even galactic shapes and movements. Unlike most modern productions, absolutely no computer-generated images appear in these films.

The study of wave phenomena and vibration was itself transformed by the innovative explorations of Swiss physician and Renaissance man, Dr. Hans Jenny, who coined the term Cymatics, from the Greek word for "waves." Inspired by Rudolf Steiner, Dr. Jenny's penetrating observations of distinct types of patterns in nature led to these dramatic experiments animating inert substances with audible sound.