Visual sound patterns

16mm sound-on-film visual sound patterns

Currently i’m working, experimenting, on sound-on-film technique used in (among others) 16mm film.

First I took photo’s of the beautiful mosaics in La Grande Mosquée de Paris. The mosaics often used in Mosques have so many patterns in them that want to be sounds, so I decided to try to make that happen.

Electronic sound is created by fast changing voltage pulses. By changing the frequency and the voltage of  the pulses, the tone of sound changes into e.g. music. In sound-on-film an extra step is added. A small stroke on the side of the frame contains the sound wave forms. Those wave forms look similar in sound or video editing programs on your PC, where this is a representation of the pulses that are send to the sound card and later to the speakers. In film a light sensor is used to do that same trick. The light sensor continuously translates the difference between black and white (actually black and transparent) into a voltage pulse, and then by a speaker into sound.

In Visual Sound Patterns I want to make my own sound-on-film patterns. I use the photo’s I made of the mosaics and distill my own sound patterns out of it. After drawing it it will be laser cut on black card board. In the dark room I will use this ‘mask’ on a strip of film. After exposing the film the masked parts will be transparent and the non-masked parted black.