Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stockhausen and jellyfish


Karlheinz Stockhausen's music created the pattern above; Alexander Lauterwasser captured it by transferring the sound waves from a Stockhausen composition into water, and photographing the results using reflected light. Below is an image of a jellyfish photographed by me on the beach in western France and colour adjusted using Paint Shop Pro. I Googled to check whether anyone else had spotted the links between Stockhausen and jellyfish, and yes, they have. More on Alexander Lauterwasser's fascinating sound patterns here.


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7 comments:

Schm├╝dde said...

This is really beautiful. What specific composition is mapped on the graphic above?

Pliable said...

My source for the article was Alexander Lautterwasser's website, and, strangely, the compositions generating the images are not identified there -

http://www.wasserklangbilder.de/index.html?html/home_e.html

I have not seen Lautterwasser's book Water Sound Images. Perhaps the compositions are identified there?

http://www.cymaticsource.com/articles/a7_water_sound_review.html

Pliable said...

Another Lauterwasser juxtaposition here -

http://www.overgrownpath.com/2009/07/salade-la-boulez.html

Ben.H said...

It's an intriguing comparison, especially given the resemblence to many of Stockhausen's musical diagrams - particularly in his later music, with their use of spirals and concentric orbits, and his interest in the cyclical nature of time.

Lily said...

I love the juxtaposition! These photographs of sound waves are really interesting, and so beautiful. How did you find them?
I'd like to link to your original post about them on the blog I write for, The Green Room. (It's for From the Top, the NPR radio show about classical music prodigies. Here's the link: http://greenroom.fromthetop.org/). We do a links post on Thursdays. I hope this is okay with you!

Pliable said...

Lily, of course it is fine for you to link to my post. I'm just glad you found it interesting.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra take credit for the heads up on Alexander Lauterwasser's Water Sound Images. They used the image created by a Ravi Shankar work in their brochure to publicise the forthcoming premiere of Shankar's symphony. That's how I came across it.

Lily said...

Thanks for the info!