Macro Cymatic Visual Music Instrument

“Macro-Cymatic” Visual Music Instrument (2014-present)

Immersive audio-visual performance environment (ongoing)
Debut performance commissioned by Soundwave Biennial @ SOMarts, August 2014.
Developed with support from the Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency and Djerassi Resident Artist Program.

My “macro-cymatic” instruments visualizes music into fluid motion and light painting.  The visuals seen are precisely the same vibrations of the audio vibrations heard, directly transduced through water and light. The motion of water is augmented by programmable LED lights, and the visuals are projected at the super close-up (macro-photographic) scale.

The instrument was first built with wood, but most recently, I’ve been building it with resin and acrylic.


I perform live with the instrument, and use it to create music videos, and installations.  In performance, the audience is enveloped by transcendent music tied to live visual water wave projections sourced directly from the instrument body.

Here’s a video demonstrating the latest instrument in action:

Macro-Cymatic Visual Music Instrument Demo from mvjakobsons on Vimeo.

Here’s my latest music video created with the instrument, for the album “Star Core”



Here is a video still from this instrument:


The original “macro-cymatic” instrument was carved from cedar and had a single string that could be bowed.

File May 24, 15 33 32

File Jun 02, 16 15 54

Sometimes, I compose sounds specifically for the way that they create fluid motion on the instrument, such as with “Recognition: For Sine Waves, Prepared Piano, and Macro-Cymatic Instrument

Recognition (Movement 1) from mvjakobsons on Vimeo.


Special thanks to the Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency, where I designed, fabricated,  and composed the debut performance.  The piece was commissioned by the Soundwave Bienniel and debuted at SOMArts, in San Francisco:

Here are some of the early experiments, called the “Macro-Cymatic Studies” series