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the sound of nature and the nature of sound


The Hive Gallery, Birmingham ~ 7th - 24th June 2022


Nick Chamberlain


"With this exhibition, I wanted to explore some of the mysteries of sound and bring to life the connections between sound, visual forms and science."

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"The visual side of the exhibition has evolved from my research into sound, and especially cymatics, the study of making sound waves visible. I am fascinated by the multitude of patterns and forms that emerge in water, soap bubbles and granules when sound is passed through them, and my work is intended to celebrate these amazing natural symmetries."

moments of nature in music

~ 7 audio-visual pieces inspired by the natural world ~ 

Stream of Light (extract) 

"...The natural word also inspires my audio-visual work in a more direct, familiar way. Moments Of Nature In Music is a series of seven pieces inspired by such familiar things as rain, wind, flowers and bees, each evoking a fleeting series of moments. The video images sometimes directly illustrate the music and soundscapes, but at other times, the sounds themselves are creating the images in real-time.”

Flowerbee (extract) 

immersed in the acoustic garden


"‘Flowerbee’ is a standout, a piece of music for piano and cello is visualised by a pair of Eidophones – drum-like membranes covered in lycopodium powder which shifts into geometric forms as the music plays."

Birmingham Review

FloerBee (extract)

"The exhibition feels as if you're walking through someone's learning process, picking over sketches and experiments. Large posters explain the inspiration behind the pieces in a way that really invites the audience into what could be an intimidating subject matter."

Birmingham Review



Sound museum exhibits

The exhibition also includes vintage and antique technology, such as a 1980s Harmonograph and 1920s children’s gramophone, as well as various unusual sound-related scientific instruments and ephemera.


Birds and Bells (soundscape) 

~ Celebrating Birmingham's Industrial Heritage ~


Written to celebrate the industrial heritage of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, 'Birds and Bells (soundscape)' incorporates bird whistles manufactured in the world famous Acme Whistles Company. Each of the six whistles represents a different bird - cuckoo, nightingale, pigeon, quail, curlew or skylark.

This lighthearted piece begins with birdsong, gradually emerging, and then developing into a chorus.  In the distance, church bells start to chime and seem to imitate the calls of the birds. A single flute eventually joins in and improvises a tune, inspired by the sounds.

Birds and BellsNick Chamberlain
00:00 / 03:10


SoundMuse Workshop
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capturing the wave

It was great to work with students from Argent College and Seven Up during the exhibition.

We used an ancient paper marbling technique to 'capture' the flow pattern of water waves.


We began the workshop by creating our own symmetrical patterns in a marbling bath solution. Inspired by natural forms, we used a cocktail stick to 'draw' the floating ink into a pattern which was then transferred to paper.

Different patterns were created using a vibration generator to vibrate a dish of the marbling bath with sound. Occasionally star-like shapes emerged.


As well as paper, we also printed on to log slices.


"Chamberlain's passion for learning is clear. Above all else, 'SoundMuse' feels committed to leading audiences by the hand through the world of cymatics in a way that's thought-provoking and accessible."

Birmingham Review

images from the exhibition

"Very interesting and amazing information - thank you very much"

Oscar E. Moseley

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