Powder + Subwoofer = Awesome

Erin McCarthy
Vimeo / Vimeo

Ever wonder what would happen if you put powder on a subwoofer and turned up the bass? Well, wonder no more: In The Essence of Sound, director Susi Sie did just that. 

The way the powder visualizes the sound waves is mesmerizing. To create the film, Sie put a layer of lycopodium powder on top of a Burkhardtsmaier subwoofer (the film is also a promotional clip for the company, which makes audio equipment) and filmed it with a RED Epic camera. Lycopodium powder is highly flammable and composed of clubmoss spores; historically, it's been used as flash powder for entertainment purposes, but it has other uses, too; it's used in makeup and on surgical gloves.

The Essence of Sound isn't the first time Sie has experimented with lycopodium powder and subwoofers. She previous released Cymatics, which she filmed at 50 Hz with a Canon 5D and a 100mm macro lens:

According to Sie's website, the director "is on a mission to explore the physical and mathematical nature of unusual forms, substances and materials 
to show the hidden beauty and magic of our natural world that constantly surrounds us."