'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Music-Colour Synaesthesia and the Arts

Many artists and musicians talk about 'synaesthesia', a fascinating condition, which can take many forms.

For musicians the most interesting type is music-colour synaesthesia.
Here the individual experiences colours in response to tones or musical stimuli. Synaesthetes rarely agree that a tone will be a certain colour, although there are some trends, higher pitched notes, for example, are more brightly coloured.

It has been reported that colour changes in response to the pitch and it involves more than just the hue of the colour.
Brightness, (the amount of white in a colour, so as brightness is removed, red would fade to brown and then black), and saturation, (intensity of colour, with red being highly saturated and grey or black unsaturated) are also involved.

Colour synaesthetes also often report that colour will move or stream into and out of their field of view, and whilst some feel the colour is projected out into the world, others say the colours are experiences in their 'mind's eye'.

This is all fascinating stuff and there was an excellent article in 'The Daily Telegraph' the other day, by Martin Gayford, 'Art's brush with boogie-woogie'.
Here it's discussed how many figures in modern art have been fascinated by the relationship between visual art and music.

An example given is Vincent van Gogh. At one stage of his troubled life Van Gogh took music lessons from an organist in Eindhoven. His teacher concluded that Vincent was mad, as he constantly compared chords with colour pigments.
It appears that Van Gogh may have been a synaesthete.

In relation to this, an exhibition has just opened, 'Eye-Music:Kandinsky,Klee and All That Jazz' at 'Pallant House Gallery, Chichester'.
It looks like it's well worth a visit.

How does all this relate to Robin and him playing the guitar?
Well, the colour scheme in part of our house, is vibrant red and yellow.
What that tells us I'm not sure.

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