Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pyramid frequencies

I went to see Alan Howarth (composer/sound designer for John Carpenter's films) at Le Poisson Rouge this past weekend, and it was a phenomenal concert full of synths and dream-like soundscapes. The opening act Harald Grosskopf was also quite good, and if you ever find his record Synthesist, it's a fantastic record, and you should snatch it.

Alan Howarth mentioned during his set about how he paid $8,000 to rent an Egyptian pyramid for 2 hours and that the music he is currently composing and performing is based on the frequencies and resonant qualities he discovered in the pyramids.

Thinking about pyramid frequencies led me to cymatics, which is the study of how sound waves interact with physical matter. Experiments include observing visual patterns created in sand on a membrane such as wood, metal plates, glass, etc. when specific sound vibrations move through the membrane. The acoustical engineer John Reid performed cymatics experiments in the Great Pyramid and found that the resonant qualities of the granite and the chambers themselves created hieroglyphic images in the sand on a membrane spread tautly over the sarcophagus in the King's Chamber. If you have any interest in cymatics, electronics, and egyptology, you should check out this interview with John Reid:

Please forgive the slight new age-y vibe of the interview. I find it fascinating.

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