sonic interpretations
February 18, 2008 4:29 AM   Subscribe

"What is the sound of color? We asked that question of 5 musicians. We assigned each musician a different color. They wrote 5 tracks. We gave the colors and tracks that inspired them to 5 directors." The Sound of Color contains the songs and videos that were created. The site and free downloads are only available through March 15. (Via Carolina Vigna-Marú)

Disclaimer: This is also the color of pepsi blue.

The project is sponsored by Gap: "Gap is crossing the line between being an advertiser and a patron of the arts," Brown says. "There’s no gratuitous khakis flying around the videos." Even so, one can’t help but wonder whether critics suspicious of the brand's sponsorship will pan the tracks regardless of their caliber. The artists aren’t sweating. "From our perspective, we just want as many people as possible to hear and feel our music," says the Raveonettes' Sune RoseWagner. "And since most radio/TV stations are too lame to play it, we need alternative outlets."

More on the campaign in Advertising Age - "The artists were given almost complete creative control by Gap and Rehab; there were a few mandatory constraints -- no political endorsements, no obscenity, etc., but other than that the artists were allowed to create whatever they wanted to. And in the end the rights to the tracks revert back to the artists; they can use those tracks however they want. Gap has no right or license to use the works in a commercial way."

More on the musicians
Jimmy Tamborello
Marié Digby
Swizz Beatz
The Blakes
The Ravonettes
posted by madamjujujive (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Scriabin would have been unhappy with only one color.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:41 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

(Missing link)
posted by Wolfdog at 4:43 AM on February 18, 2008

If you find this post interesting, you might also be interested in a recent little fun experiment on colour and music over at Scienceblogs' Cognitive Daily.
posted by Jakey at 5:33 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I watched two of these (red and yellow), and they don't strike me as dealing with color at all. They seem like videos for (not half bad) songs which are mostly unrelated to the color of the web page they're on.

Anyway, I could have saved them the time, because I know the answer:

Red: sssssssssss
Orange: boioioing!
Yellow: eeeeeeeeeeee! eeee! eeeeee!
Green: shoooooof. hrm. Hrmuffle.
Blue: Wah wah waaaaaaaaah.
Indigo: (folksy strumming)
Violet: dunna dunna dunna dunnnnn.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 5:54 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

What is the taste of vision? We asked that question of 5 gourmet chefs. We assigned each chef a different image. They created 5 meals. We gave the meals and images that inspired them to 5 marine biologists. The Taste of Vision contains the seafoods that were created.
posted by Horken Bazooka at 6:18 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

"[Ken Nordine's 1966 album] Colors began as a short-lived series of radio commercials written and voiced at the behest of the Fuller Paint Company. The spots ran as scheduled; however, at the end of the campaign listeners began calling radio stations to request they be rebroadcast. Once word got back to Nordine, he rewrote the scripts -- sans sponsor of course..."
posted by ardgedee at 6:33 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Heh, I just finished reading the chapter on synesthesia in Musicophilia.
posted by danb at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was expecting something a little more experimental. Instead, it seems that they could have just taken preexisting songs from the artists. It reeks of pretentiousness.
posted by pedmands at 6:54 AM on February 18, 2008

Oliver Sacks writes about the brain quirks of people who can "taste" color and other strange things. He might be a more interesting read if you find the concept interesting.
posted by 45moore45 at 7:11 AM on February 18, 2008

I can't wait until they do the sound of silence. I know these two guys that'd be perfect for it.
posted by gc at 7:33 AM on February 18, 2008

Michael Torke called, wants his ideas back.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:11 AM on February 18, 2008

I interviewed Oliver Sacks last fall for Wired, and he told me a fascinating anecdote about synesthesia, psychedelics, and Monteverdi.
posted by digaman at 9:14 AM on February 18, 2008 [4 favorites]

V.S. Rammachandran is also doing some interesting work on the subject of synesthesia and cognition.

The relationship between sound and color is rich territory, but these tracks don't even begin to explore it.
posted by ducky l'orange at 9:51 AM on February 18, 2008

Ahhhh, how to get along as a new artist in these dark post-label, post-fan, sub-standard diet days...

You have to sell out from day 1 to even have a chance! Poor Ravonettes go from relatively obscure to corporate play-list fodder in 10 sec flat...,

And that is the damn success story! I'm sure there all like "Sweet! Payday! I'm eating 2000 calories today! Maybe upgrade to a cheap motel room from sleeping in the van! Yay!"

But, generic retail has GOT to style-bite, and musician GOT to eat, occasionally....
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 10:47 AM on February 18, 2008

Those are some cheesy songs. What pedmands said.

For those interested in synesthesia: Oskar Fischinger
posted by dminor at 11:06 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

... and colors that tasted like music ...
posted by kcds at 11:07 AM on February 18, 2008

The horrible flash interface has me seeing red (wakka wakka).
posted by basicchannel at 11:14 AM on February 18, 2008

Flash SUX
posted by zouhair at 11:37 AM on February 18, 2008

I see chords in colour, major chords are a rich, earthy red, how twee is that??
posted by Wilder at 12:30 PM on February 18, 2008

dntel is wacccckkkkkkkkk
posted by scose at 3:57 PM on February 18, 2008

That was amazing. I'm off to see where I might be able to buy a higher quality version.
posted by pedmands at 4:33 PM on February 18, 2008

They have a DVD here but it doesn't contain the Komposition in Blau.
posted by pedmands at 4:35 PM on February 18, 2008

Wow. Everything in that interface was shifted about 200 pixels up from where it was supposed to be for me. I had to hover vertically above everything I wanted to click. When will people stop using flash for every single artsy project that has anything to do with the web?
posted by tehloki at 2:34 AM on February 19, 2008

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