Faraday Waves

Faraday Waves – 6’38”

Faraday Waves is a short audio-visual work by composer Rob Godman, in collaboration with artist filmmaker Sam Jury. Scientific consultation was provided by with Professor of Geophysics Stephen Morris (University of Toronto).

In Faraday Waves, Godman’s score responds to Jury’s reworking of documentation of the classic physics experiment invented by Faraday, whereby liquid undergoing vertical vibration, with a frequency exceeding a certain value, becomes unstable to surface waves.

In her rendering, Jury creates a circular form in which to enclose the experiment’s myriad of possible iterations. An analogy of sound to image was Godman’s starting point for the creation of the music, which incorporates speech rhythms found in the e.e. cummings poem I Carry Your Heart With Me. Placed within the resonance of a bell; it symbolizes the creation and birth of a new life. Faraday Waves was written as a companion piece for a concert-hall performance of Poème électronique by Varese.

Faraday Waves, also known as Faraday Instability, form non-linear standing waves that appear on liquids enclosed by a vibrating vessel. In ordinary Newtonian fluids the wave patterns include ones with 1-fold symmetry (stripes), 2-fold symmetry (squares), 3-fold symmetry (hexagons) as well as higher orders of symmetry. The effect was first reported by Michael Faraday in 1831, and forms one of many experiments in visualizing vibration and sound – a means of converting analogue data from one form to another.

Faraday Waves has been performed and installed at the following:

July 2019 – WOMAD Festival, Charlton Park, UK
May – Dec 2016: Touring as part of the Ritual In Transfigured Time programme– a concert series initiated by Kate Romano and the Goldfield Ensemble (Arts Council of England, RVW Trust and the Britten-Peers Trust funded) to Milton Court Theatre, London, OVADA, Oxford, Jack Lyons Concert Hall and the University of York, UK
July – July 2016: British Human Computer Interaction Conference, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, UK, Art & Science Days, Concours Bourges 2016, Cinéma de la Maison de la Culture de Bourges, France
Nov 2016: Diffrazioni Festival 2016, S. Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

Rob Godman

Sam Jury

Professor Stephen Morris – University of Toronto