Friday, February 17, 2017

Back to Color and Music

Back in July I explained how I created paintings and prints by translating music to color.   I am going to take up this discussion again now.  This is more or less how I work.  For a while I paint and then I start wondering about music and color and begin to work on that again.

After making several paintings and many prints I really was itching to try to translate music to color in time.  I recognized that without an instrument that would allow someone to play colors in real time there would never be color music, but since I was unable to create such an instrument myself I decided to at least animate music in a way that could be used as a template for such an instrument.
There is a rich history of artists who designed color instruments which you can check out on Wikipedia.

However, none of these instruments has come into popular use and none of them are constructed as I would.  My theory is that any instrument must have a set of colors tuned from dark to light with a complete spectrum in each octave.

But how will the colors appear in space and time?  Each note has to be placed somewhere (space) and be played in real time.

I decided to try and translate music to color starting with the idea that the colors would be located on the screen from top to bottom with high notes being at the top of the screen and low notes being at the bottom.  Each note would be a circle of color that would diminish slowly as it disappeared.  I purchased Flash Professional CS3 and set to work figuring out how to use it.  First I had to make a file for each note.  When that was accomplished I imported music or had my grandson, Luke,  program music for me in Garage Band.

My first pieces were rounds as they are simple.  The music appears as a wavy line on the bottom of the screen in Flash under where the notes are to be placed.  In order to animate each note one must locate a change in the line and place the note at that change. It is a very tedious business.

 Each note has its own space.  Donna Nobis Pacem,  Give us Peace.

Tomorrow more rounds.