Cymatics In A Cathedral: Beautiful Visions

by Jodina Meehan on June 10, 2015

This is a guest post from John Stuart Reid.

When Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, in Portland, Oregon, decided to sponsor an art installation they chose a collaborative design by artist, Shelley Socolofsky and John Stuart Reid of

The theme set by the cathedral was that the piece should connect light and dark and be a “new and experimental art form and media that cannot be hung on walls nor placed on pedestals”. Using this brief Socolofsky and Reid came up with a design titled “Cauldron”, featuring a six foot diameter circular pond of white color-dyed water, onto which a video projector would fire CymaScope imagery relevant to the cathedral.

After the installation opened to the public Shelley Socolofsky commented, “The Cauldron installation was a huge success and the crowd was mesmerised and fascinated by the CymaScope imagery reflected off water. People came to see it in …droves.”

John Stuart Reid commented, “The Trinity art installation project represents the first ever cymatics-based art installation in a cathedral, to our knowledge. It was a real thrill to see the imagery of the marvellous Pilgrims’ Hymn and Toccata and Fugue come alive for the first time in the CymaScope laboratory.”

James Stuart Reid did wonderful work in constructing and editing the various elements in post production. We hope this will be the first of many MusicMadeVisible videos designed for sacred spaces in the future.

SHARE this beautiful video: press the facebook button before you go!



J.J.McGowan, a musician and digital artist from Scotland, created this cymatics video to show what music might look like if we could see it holographically in real time:

McGowan writes about the project:

“This is the short film I created for my Masters in Animation and Visualisation at the University of Dundee. The idea was to see what music would look like travelling through the air…

“Inspired by the emerging science of Cymatics, I used footage of the my own music being vibrated through the Cymascope, (a machine created by John Stuart Reid) that allows the visualisation of sound through ultra fine water, and used VFX techniques to interpret and create a holographic 3D version.”

See J.J.McGowan’s Digital Art and Music here

Learn more about MusicMadeVisible and the CymaScope here

P.S. CYMATICA, the book, has reached 36,000 words. Read about it here and watch a short film about the project.

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