GARY JAMES JOYNES

 “The sheer violence and cacophony required to create these images is hidden behind their still serenity."

​FREQUENCY PAINTING
It has been well over 200 years since the German physicist/musician Ernst Chladni used a violin bow to vibrate plates
covered with sand and in so doing discovered what were named after him as the “Chladni Sound Figures”. This work was
followed in the `60´s by the Swiss scientist Hans Jenny who expanded Chladni´s approach by using fluids, eventually
defining the science of Cymatics. A few notable artists have since used Cymatic sound in their practice by exploring the
use of fluids, magnetism and gaseous media. My work is fueled by my discovery that the exploration of the original
Chladni sand patterns has typically been isolated to, and adopted by, university Physics labs merely to study waveform
phenomena. I have been deeply moved by the sacred geometry I see in the creation of these sublime figures. Their
simple beauty mirrors other ageless forms seen in walking meditation paths, Tibetan mandalas, and figures of the
Chinese I Ching. I hoped to further explore this organic minimalism through my practice of live cinema and ambient
improvisation.

In the Fall/Winter of 2009 I was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts conducting research to expand my
work as a Live Cinema and New Media artist. The Banff New Media Institute residency enabled me to experiment with
tools and ideas that has driven my artistic practice for many years. Isolated in the bunker of the New Media Lab I started
with the origins of Cymatic sound, and through documenting my performance created a bank of visual images of the
phenomenon of sound. The analog frequencies became a brush I could use to animate sound with the most simple of
media – sand.

Frequency Painting is a body of work that looks deep into the visualization of sound by looking at the sculptural
potentials of resonant frequencies. Using a custom designed Analog Modular Synthesizer and several hand-built “wave-
driver” speaker instruments, I manipulate audio frequencies to push their signature wave shapes into fine particulate
sand. Producing the quality of images displayed in this body of work has taken nearly a year of work and an endurance
of mind and body that I could never have imagined. In order to produce the energy necessary to force granular particles
into these wonderful patterns I have had to consistently push my sound equipment to deafening levels of close to 120dB,
for hours at a time. The sheer violence and cacophony required to create these images is hidden behind their still
serenity. Many a wave driver speaker coil has been melted and sacrificed through this process – may they rest in pieces.
Creating these works has required an almost meditative balance between the intensity of sound and the delicate
movement and patience needed to sweep frequencies and finesse the images I present here. This is truly order from
chaos


Gary James Joynes | August, 2010