Mitch Eaton

Man playing a hornpipe on the glass organ.
May 31 2006
Text By Greg Fallis

Everything...every single thing...has a natural frequency at which it vibrates. Resonant frequency, it's called. Rub your slightly wet finger along the rim of a glass partially filled with water. The rubbing imparts energy to the glass molecules, causing them to resonate. The vibration of the glass molecules causes the air molecules inside the glass to vibrate at the very same frequency. The vibrating air molecules create a sound so pure and hollow that you can feel it in the small bones of your face and the soft tissues of your body. The music comes right out of your fingers and right into your heart.

Mozart wrote music to be played on stemmed glasses (an instrument sometimes called an 'angelica' for the simple clarity of its tone). So did Beethoven. The so-called "mad scene" in Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermore is performed on stemmed glasses. As an instrument, musical glasses have gone out of fashion. Only geniuses and cranks and street musicians perform on the angelica now. Our modern ears scorn such anachronisms.

But physics transcends fads. The molecules of glass and air remain faithful. The music still comes directly through the fingers, and the heart cares nothing for fashion

View Project:

Utata » Tribal Photography » Projects