CHROMAESTHESIA Musical Chords in Paint

Synaesthesia is described as the “union of the senses,” while chromaesthesia is associated with a sound-colour experience.  A similar synthesis is methodically explored here into the relationship between musical notations and colour theory.

“Chromaesthesia” features a series of small oil paintings I have produced equating colour with musical chords. It consists of studio exercises derived from basic triad chord notations as illustrated in my book Spectral Waves - Polychromatic Chords.

A sequence of piano chord combinations is transfigured into a suite of colour representations or “polychromatic chords”. Each tone on the keyboard is assigned a particular hue on the colour wheel, and each chord is charted in various painted configurations. A series of sequentially arranged abstract canvases are derived from the basic triad chord animations. This is a reciprocal process in which the various colour compositions may correspond to specific chords in musical scores.

The twelve colour wheel sectors are distributed according to the 12 note octave on the piano keyboard. The distributions of hues accords with Isaac Newton’s rainbow colour theory which was originally derived from the seven notes (A to G) in an octave.

Examples of various suites of painting include:

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