Painted by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923
Kandinsky, himself an accomplished musician, once said Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul. The concept that color and musical harmony are linked has a long history, intriguing scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton. Kandinsky used color in a highly theoretical way associating tone with timbre (the sound's character), hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. He even claimed that when he saw color he heard music
Painted by Piet Mondrian, 1944
The city grid of Manhattan, and the boogie woogie music to which Mondrian loved to dance.
Eschewing a conventional interface, you interact with Shnth using this wooden case and sensors. But note the USB port: from there, Shnth can use a deceptively-powerful programming language to make an array of sounds. Images courtesy the developer.
Synthtopia is a portal devoted to electronic music.
There are lots of electronica sites, but they all seem to cover one tiny aspect of electronica: trance, classical electronic music, dance, or synthesizers. Synthtopia covers it all.
Synthtopia covers all types of electronic music, serious, popular, even seriously popular. There’s a lot of great electronic music coming from all types of composers and musicians. You’ll find that we include hardcore electronica along with pop electronica, and dark ambient music along with chillout. By mixing it up, we hope that most electronic music fans will find something they like, and also find out about some music that they may not know anything about. www.synthtopia.com
George Crumb's reputation as a composer of hauntingly beautiful scores has made him one of the most frequently performed composers in today's musical world. Crumb is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes, and continues to compose new scores that enrich the lives of all who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art. Crumb's music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western musics. Many of Crumb's works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores.
The link above is to a YouTube click of a performance of Vox Balaenae. Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) composed in 1971 for the New York Camerata, is scored for flute, cello and piano (all amplified in concert performance). The work was inspired by the singing of the humpback whale, a tape recording of which I had heard two or three years previously. Each of the three performers is required to wear a black half-mask (or visor-mask). The masks, by effacing the sense of human projection, are intended to represent, symbolically, the powerful impersonal forces of nature (ie. nature dehumanized). I have also suggested that the work be performed under deep-blue stage lighting.
An interactive guide to travel through time charting the history of modern music, tackling a different genre each day and picking 50 key moments.
An educational and eclectic tour of music from the middle ages to today illustrated with clips from YouTube. www.limelightmagazine.com.au/Article/254537,classical-music-a-history-according-to-youtube.aspx/0