The sound of marble

Diespeker has assisted Charles Richards, a Masters student at the Royal College of Art, whose project looked at using materials, specifically minerals, to make sound.

The project, Acoustic Tonalities of Mineral Sounds (ATOMS), was based around the discovery and collecting of the sonic qualities and melodies that exist within examples of various earth strata.

Diespeker supplied marble cut into discs of two sizes, 10” and 12” diameters in various types of marble. He explained that if you hit a bell it rings using a resonant frequency. Similarly, different sizes of cut marble influences the tuning. “Every marble has a unique composition of minerals,” Charles said.

His study showed that Travertine had the most interesting results. He also used Isla Bascata, Onyx and Jerusalem Antique.

After the success of using small discs, Charles is keen to move on to larger slabs of marble, which can have around 10 to 12 notes in a single piece.

Charles has now completed his studies at RCA with a first, and we were delighted to be a small part of his success. He is now considering a residency at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and is keen to carry on working with minerals. He says: “I want to challenge the move towards digital sound by creating a library of sound from the natural world.”

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