‘As We See Sound: Explorations of Audible Color’ – Visual Music 101 Event in Chicago

“Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.”

– Wassily Kandinsky

Musicians, philosophers, and artists have sought, for centuries, the ultimate translation of sound and vision, the ability to translate one sensual experience into another, from hearing to seeing and back again. This search for “audible color” has taken many forms, from early Pythagorean theories on the harmony of the celestial spheres to contemporary experiments with electronic music, rituals, and coordinated visual effects. Running through it all is a fascination with how existence is interwoven with relationships that often defy our understanding.

“On Sunday, February 17th at 3pm at the Spudnik Annex, Homeroom Chicago, Spudnik Press, and Access Contemporary Music present a public seminar exploring the relationship between color and sound.

As music became the inspiration for the movement towards abstraction in early 20th century European painting, artists searched for ever more meaningful ways to incorporate the language and gestures of music into their work. Similarly, the use of the color spectrum to illustrate musical tonality and timbre became common, not only among synaesthetic composers like Scriabin and Messiaen but also in the forms of light displays, color organs, and abstract animation. As we delve deeper into the mixed media possibilities of the digital age: how do color and light inform our experience of sound textures and vice versa?

(I will be presenting my) research about various theories and practices regarding the relationship between color and sound ranging from Pythagoras to David Lynch, providing specific audio and visual examples as well as methods useful for active artists and musicians.

The event will also serve to kick off Homeroom and Spudnik’s third iteration of Ten x Ten, a collaborative project between Chicago musicians and printmakers.

The event is free to the public. Snacks and drinks will be made available.”

This talk expands on some of the themes I explored in an article called ‘As We See Sound: Explorations of Audible Color‘ written for Alarm Magazine‘s 2011 anthology – Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music .

For more information on the event head over to the Home Room.

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  • echar

    This is fascinating, Too bad I live no where near.

    Is this suggesting that sound tone and colors be standardized? I believe that color/sound meaning can differentiates between Synesthetes? I wonder if the chakra colors will also be involved?

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