A workshop about sound, beginning with investigations into the science of vibration and culminating in the creation of musical instruments, microphones and amplification, and the orchestration of a musical performance.
This workshop will begin with an exploration of the strange world of Cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration. We’ll start by playing with something called a Chladni plate, a surface dusted with a particulate (such as sand or salt) that, when vibrated, produces complex and beautiful patterns. From this experiment we’ll explore the resonant properties of everyday objects, buildings, the landscape, and our own bodies.
Using our new understanding of resonance, we will assemble our own musical instruments, starting with a kalimba or thumb piano assembled from resonators we salvage, repurpose, or construct ourselves. Our build will present opportunities to delve into music theory as we decide how we’ll tune our instruments. We’ll look to musical traditions and modern innovations - from Balinese Gamelan to junkyard electro-afrobeat Konono No. 1 to the avant-weirdness of Harry Partch. We’ll learn to capture and transmit the noises we make by soldering together our own microphones and speakers. We’ll create our own mutant array of sonic contraptions, and put together a musical performance for our community.