Seeing Music, Hearing Colour
This ongoing project is an exploration into how music and colour interact - and can create a stimulus for inspiration.
For centuries musicians have created music inspired by art and vice verse.
However, a small proportion of the population can be effected by a condition called synaesthesia where the senses may mix or merge. This manifests in many different ways with the first reported discovery of the condition in 1812.
Research suggests that about one in 2,000 people are synaesthetes, and some experts suspect that as many as one in 300 people have some variation of the condition.
If we don't experience sound as colour - do we (or can we) use colour as a stimulus or creative tool at all? The investigation revealed mixed results, and findings have inspired the next step of the journey!
I will kiss you forever - Robert Smith (The Cure)
The process - Phase 1
The painting 'I will Kiss you forever' was used as stimulus for an initial composition. The music was composed by Helen Madden in collaboration with musicians Morag Galloway (Viola) Charlotte Watson (Cello) Tracey Morton (Flutes) Peter Morton (Guitar) and Peter Birkby (Percussion)
The music was played to each participating school/community group. Members were encouraged to talk about what they may have heard within the music, and produce a piece of artwork to represent the sounds and colours they could hear. The piece of music was also send to 5 synaesthetic artists who produced their own synaesthetic responses.
Phase 2 - making art to compose to.
Group members were then asked to create their own piece of art to make collaborative music to. They were asked to consider their use of colour to potentially match the mood and sound of the music they wanted to create. Musicians then attended final workshops and worked with individuals to turn their artwork into music. Sketches were recorded, then reproduced in a recording studio (Listen Here to all pieces).