Mari Kimura is a New York based solo violinist that usually lectures at the acknowledged Juilliard School of Music. She is one of the extremely few people who can produce controlled subharmonic tones on violin. Kimura has developed this trait to a signature feature in her compositions and improvisations. The sounds she plays on violin are usually found in a cello.
"I have done this for ten years, and the researchers in US and Japan have tried to figure it out for as long. I don’t really know what it is I do, because I have an empirical approach to it. It all happens by the method of trial and error", says Kimura.
Solving the mystery
Scientists from Stanford, Columbia and Tokyo University are amongst those who found the phenomenon interesting. However they did not have the necessary combination of competence within physics, as well as interest in music, to be able to work exhaustingly on figuring out Kimura’s subharmonic violin pitch. In Tromsø however Kimura found the right kind of scientists that can measure and explain the phenomenon.
"We have definitely what it takes to solve this mystery. We have worked with strange and exotic sound systems earlier, and we have the ability to make good measurements, correct theoretical modelling and of course the necessary musical insight and interest", says the physics professor Alfred Hanssen.
The precise measurements of the Kimura’s low-pitched sounds were made at the echo free chamber at the University Hospital. By applying even pressure on the string by use of fine and steady movements of the bow Kimura can conjure many different tones from one place on the string. Measurements of these fascinating sounds will be used in research for years to come.
"Kimura makes a violin string vibrate in a totally new way. In physics we call this a driven and damped non-linear system, which we are particularly preoccupied with in our research. By understanding the way she plays the violin, we are contributing to understanding of similar processes in the nature", says Hanssen.
Mari Kimura too hopes to take advantage of the results that professor Hanssen and his assistants, PhD candidate Heidi Hindberg and post.doc Tor Arne Øigård achieve with their scientific approach.
"My ambition is to find out if there is more that I can do, if there is something to reach for. As an artist you are always searching for ways to expand the sound, to expand the use of violin as an instrument".
By: Maja Sojtaric
Professor Alfred Hanssen | alfa
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Life Sciences