The Augmented Tonoscope: Towards a deeper understanding of the interplay between sound and image in Visual Music
Sound can induce physical form and flow – the stationary wave patterns of Cymatics (from the Greek: κῦμα “wave”). Dr Hans Jenny coined this term for his seminal studies into these phenomena in the 60s and 70s, using a device of his own design – the ʻtonoscopeʼ.
A key method in the research has been the design, fabrication and crafting of a contemporary version of Jenny’s sound visualisation tool – a hybrid analogue/digital audiovisual instrument – the Augmented Tonoscope.
By playing, recording and interacting with it, research outcomes have taken the form of artistic works for live performance, screening and installation.
The study investigates the theoretical, technical and aesthetic concerns in realising a harmonic complementarity and more intimate perceptual connection between music and moving image – through applying Cymatics alongside the Differential Dynamics of pioneering, computer-aided, experimental animator John Whitney Sr. and alternate musical tunings based on harmonic consonance and the Pythagorean laws of harmony.