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Casper Belier

Let's talk about (tone)colours

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Hello good composers!

Before going into the topic, I think Messiaen describes the colours here very truthfully.

When I'm making music I usually use some sort of structure or use chords I know will sound nice. In my head I'm humming along different voices. I do all this with feeling and emotion. But not with colour. Now I've seen the video above, and I think I have to reconsider my way. Do you compose/play with colours? For my and your interest in colours, I would like if you tell me which colours you see/hear with the folowing peice. Preludes pour piano(1929), Olivier Messiaen. I'm only talking about the first peice, you can hear from 00:00 to 02:00.

My colourinterpretation.

m1-3: the melody B is very orange, it's the 5th of E major, open sound. the topping chordal melody seem very cool, bluey. using mode of limited transposition 2. 

m4-6: The melody seems to get lost because it cant find an tonic, near the end it line out E major without the E. colour: magenta-grey.

m7-8: Now we know we can't hope for the E major anymore. the story continues on a different path. colour: white glissandoing to purple.

m9: the painful sound middle way up the measure would be a sharp, bright blood red, going back to the white-purple at the end of this measure.

m10-11: the pain is still visible, so this has red but more opaque, smeared down. building back to the orange from m12, we can see a transition color in m11 consisting of white, orange and a little green.

m12-19: the colours are the same as they repeat but this makes it also more easy to go through. I think the repetition factor makes this part less heavy.

m20:  purple.

m21: I hear some greenery in this measure.

m22-23: Very warm chord, definetly an orange. the minor 14th melody sounds disattached, two colours who marry an contrasting colour: black-pink 

 

Please share your colours, if you have any!

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Do you have chromesthesia? If so, then fine. But if not, I stand with robin, at least in initial claims. The subjectivity of colors is so dependent on past and present and even mood so to actually have colors be present in your mind would require such an outside force guiding you.

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I have sound to shape and colour synesthesia. 

The best pop song for this is Clocks by Coldplay. I see 3D shapes with colour energy sparkling as the shapes spin around. 

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When I listen to music, I see colours, shapes and structures. But it doesn't work very well when I'm concentrating to it, so I can't say what I exactly see in this prelude. Some parts are bright yellow (the colour of E major) and some are strange, something between orange and brown.

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To me, all this talk of color and sound is like asking me if the word "Elevator" tastes like chocolate. I simply cannot connect these things in my head and they are meaningless to me when others speak of it.

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