Sunday, February 26, 2017


Still trying to perfect the way the colors appear on the screen I decided to see how they would look if they gradually moved down the screen while they were disappearing.  That way the viewer would see the color for a longer period of time.

I used this Scriabin Prelude because of the way it uses pauses.  This gives the colors a chance to be seen and appreciated.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Chopin Nocturne

In this on going exploration of how notes can be arranged in space, still using a one to one correlation between notes and color, I kept experimenting with different music and different ways of placing the notes on the screen.  I kept the Lighter colors at the top of the screen and the darker colors at the bottom of the screen.   Then each note was programmed for a complete piece of music and this whole group became a symbol which I could then place on the screen as many times as I wanted to in any place I chose.  I wanted to duplicate the symbols so I could get more color on the screen.  This also allowed me to create unexpected patterns over time.

Here is a Chopin Nocturne.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Claire de Lune

Now that I am free to do whatever I want with the colors in space - still keeping them tuned of course and using a one to one ratio of colors to notes - I thought I would experiment with different arrangements in the same piece of music.  This is one of my all time favorites.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Since I now was animating music that would not be so simple to design code for I figured I might as well try various methods of putting the colors on the screen.  Suppose the notes moved across the screen more or less mimicking the way we read, from left to right one measure at a time?  Here is an example of that idea with the lower notes staying put and the high notes dancing across the screen.
In the repeat of the music the higher notes stay put for comparison.

ADAGIO IN G MINOR, Thomas Albinoni

Monday, February 20, 2017

moving on

After experimenting with this method for a while I began to see some trouble having each note occupy a specific place in space.  It was fine for rounds and in Pachebel's Canon I simply allowed the notes to take up arbitrary space as it was a very simple piece.  The problem was that as music began to use a wider range of notes from high to low, in order to fit them on the screen they had to be very small.  This meant that the color interaction was not as intense and since I assume the color interaction is key to the enjoyment of color music this  presented difficulties.  In this Mozart piece I changed the arrangement of the colors in the repeat of the piece to allow more color.  It is more interesting but didn't really solve the problem for music that uses several octaves of music.

And so I decided to abandon the idea that each color would have its own place on the stage.  This would vastly complicate a programmer's job unfortunately.  Now I decided in order to keep the colors close to each other so that they could interact with each other maximally I would place them on the screen close to each other.  I still kept them in order from light to dark but they did not have a specific place in space to call their own.  It might still be possible to design a program that would be able to interpret this arrangement but I'm not sure. I could see how it looked and hope so.

Here is the first result of that method of animating.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

More Rounds

As you can see the rounds designed in this way do make interesting patterns.

This brings me to speculate about our ability to alter sound waves with our throat and mouth.  How about that!  We can sing.  WE are the first musical instrument.   We also can hear those altered sound waves and somehow be moved emotionally by there combined effect.  If we could alter light waves with some part of our body we could create color in time ourselves.  Since we can't do that I will continue to try to figure out how we can use modern technology to do it for us.

Going back to that exploration I animated Pachebel's Canon.  I tried to stay with classical music that is simple and popular.  I was pleased to see that these colors are quite pleasing.  There is some primitive attempt to capture dynamics by making the louder notes larger.  The music was again programmed by my grandson Luke who was then in high school and is now a lawyer.  So much goes on in a young life in a short period of time.  But of course time takes much longer when you are young.


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.