Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Discover "the power of sound" with music wizard, Kenichi Kanazawa

Illustration for article titled Discover "the power of sound" with music wizard, Kenichi Kanazawa
Screenshot: 金沢健一

Kenichi Kanazawa is an artist who makes stunning displays with sound. Or at least that’s what people say. Look upon a clip of Kanazawa at work and know, without a doubt, that he is in fact a modern-day wizard.


Author Ted Gioia shared the above clip with a description calling it “a visual demonstration of the power of sound to create order out of chaos.” We see Kanazawa sift out a measure of what looks like sand onto a metal table and then rub a mallet on the surface to create an eerie resonant sound that causes the sand to shift into a clearly-defined design. He continues with different mallets, showing how the unique sounds created with them changes the design.

It’s extremely cool. Gioia points out that Kanazawa is using Cymatics, a term used to describe how audio vibrations can make sound manifest physically and visually.

Every example of Kanazawa demonstrating his work is fascinating, not just because of the designs he can make but because we’re all supposed to just watch this stuff and believe we’re witnessing science and not the manifestation of some dark magick.

Sure, there may be plenty of verifiable research into the kind of techniques Kanazawa employs and lots of people out there willing to place their trust in the scientific process as an explanation. But we look at this and see only a wizard operating in the full light of day, trying to trick us into being mesmerized by the occult symbols he’s obviously summoning invisible pixies to draw. Everyone else may be tricked, but we’re not falling for it. All of you can enjoy the learning more about the so-called rational explanations for this work. We’ll be over here, holding crosses up at the screen and burning incense in an attempt to stop the faerie realm from entering our own.


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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.