As the monologist Frank Wortham once wrote: “Rothko, Van Gogh, Picasso — like Buddy Rich they stitched color in time, reds and yellows and blues, blocked like beats!” For those who experience synesthesia, information that stimulates one of your sense can turn into a multi-sensory experience. A Rothko might be drumbeats — and a Kandinsky might be a symphony.
Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with the Centre Pompidou, a cultural complex in Paris, on a project called ‘Play a Kandinsky’ that allows users to experience the painter’s work as he did. Here’s more from Engadget:
“When Kandinsky painted, two senses worked systematically together: hearing and sight,” Serge Lasvignes, president of the Centre Pompidou, wrote in a blog post. “Colors and shapes translated into sounds, harmonies, and vibrations made up lines and patterns.” He heard red as a violin and yellow as a trumpet, for instance.
For the “Play a Kandinsky” experiment, Google and the center recruited experimental musicians Antoine Bertin and NSDOS in an attempt to convey what Kandinsky may have heard while creating his art. They analyzed notes from Kandinsky about the synesthetic effects he felt and tried to replicate the sounds that the artist may have encountered while painting his 1925 piece “Yellow Red Blue.”
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