Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sound and Color

Did you ever see a scene in nature that just blew you away? It could be a sunset, a gentle rain, a morning mist in a forest, the stars, a butterfly, a breath of fresh air or even a due drop that reflects its primatic enirons. If so, you are a fortunate soul, for you have seen the essence of joy as it is personified in the creative nature of life.

I saw such a scene the other day and marveled at how its intrinsic beauty and visual presence manifested into my heart and translated into the narcotic of appreciation. I think I now know how nature inspired the artistic masters of old to paint the scenes that they did. Awe is often a catalyst of creation.

My scene in nature was one of morning. It was one of soft rising light. It was one of mist and sound and the presence of life.

I wondered then how does a skilled painter portray sound? Could sound have a color? Look at the great and established classical imagery in the Louvre and elsewhere. Do you not hear the sound of a crackling fire in the portrait of Whistler’s Mother? Do you not hear the croak of frogs and the gurgle of water from Monet’s impressionistic gardens of Giveny? Can you not feel the yellow warmth of sunlight and hear the birds or crickets in the morning and evening images of modern artist - Kincade?

Sound is an integral part of all creative expression. In music is not the crotchet rest or the selective pauses between notes a singular moment of silent color; a color that the mind attaches to the sound. Wagner’s hardness is black to me. Puccini’s violins are pastel. Did not Louis Armstrong’s horn engender rainbow primaries of bright blues through the refracting tube of altered sound.

Listen with intention to Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto and tell me you do not hear color. It’s there in the pink trill of notes. It is there in the humming red and yellow melody of repetition and it is there in the pantone diversity of the pianist who interprets and guides the composition to flow through the red blood of the pianist hands .

Color is everywhere. It is in our dreams. Color is in our thoughts. Color is in the black of incarcerated thought held by fear. Its potential frees the soul into a cacophony of colorful light.

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