Thursday, 13 May 2010

Cymatics - Visualising Sound

Finding ways to make music visual.

Red Earth Theatre worked with final year students from De Montfort University, Music, Technology and Innovation department to explore the principles of CYMATICS (soundwave technology - creating different patterns from different frequencies). The students made and road-tested a prototype water box. Placed on a speaker, the water in the box responds to the different sound waves produced by the music. Different wave patterns emerge as the music changes.

Have a look at the video to see how it works.

D/deaf volunteers gave their responses. They thought the visualisation of sound waves like this would help them access music in a theatre performance. They thought that Red Earth Theatre could project these patterns on to their stage sets, alongside the performers. The audience could link the action to the music. If the water was lit, with different colours to suggest the mood of the music as well, that would be even better.

Thanks to CURVE, Leicester, The Ear Foundation, Nottingham, 3D (Derby Deaf Drama) and Will Ogden for their help in our research.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Feeling of Sound

Final year students from De Montfort University, Music, Technology and Innovation Department, worked with Red Earth Theatre to research a variety of prototypes that would give D/deaf people visual and sensual access to music.

The students made a fingertip prototype sound box. Each finger is placed on a separate speaker pad and picks up vibrations from different sound wave frequencies. The sensation in each finger is different.
So, the hand feels the different changes in rhythm, pitch and volume that make up the whole piece of music.

Members from 3D (Derby Deaf Drama) road tested the sound box and were very positive about its possible applications in theatre.

Members of 3D said accessing music in different ways would enhance their overall experience of theatre. Put the sound box with the actions and images on stage and meaning is heightened for D/deaf audiences.