Watching Blobs of Paint Move to Chopin Is Oddly Soothing

Set to Chopin’s Nocturne Op., 9 No. 2, this video features blobs of color swirling through glittery scenes. Artist Thomas Blanchard uses paint, oil, and liquid soap to achieve the hypnotizing visuals.
Adrienne Bresnahan/Moment/Getty Images

When Frédéric Chopin composed the Nocturnes, Op. 9 between 1830 and 1832, when he was around 20 years old, the only way for listeners to hear them was through a live pianist. Nearly two centuries later, the second nocturne in his series has inspired a dreamlike, digital artpiece you can watch and listen to anywhere. 

The video, which was shared by Colossal, comes from French visual artist Thomas Blanchard. Set to Chopin’s Nocturne Op., 9 No. 2 (E Flat Major), it features iridescent blobs swirling through seas of glittery colors. The mesmerizing visuals are a perfect match for the soothing piano melody. If you need to turn off your brain for four and half minutes, this short film acts as the perfect mental refresher. 

Though it could easily be mistaken for high-quality CGI, Blanchard’s art is 100 percent practical. To make the trippy visuals in this video, he filmed paint, oil, and liquid soap interacting with each other. His work often zooms in on small scenes. In the past, he has made similarly mesmerizing art pieces using ink, flowers, and living insects. Blanchard’s art has been exhibited in Seoul, Paris, and New York City, and you can see more of it on his website

While most of Blanchard’s subjects can be seen with the naked eye, other artists prefer to work with microscopic worlds that can only be captured with the right camera. First launched in 1975, Nikon hosts an annual Small World Competition showcasing the best images the field of microscopic photography has to offer. You can watch the videos of plant roots, sweat glands, and injured mouse cells that won 2017’s contest here.