SoLu, correspondence between audio and visual spectrum

André Rangel

Associating music and color as a concept can be traced back to the 16th century painter Arcimboldo, even if the most quoted modern example is the “Sarabet”, a sort of “color organ” invented in 1918 by pianist Mary Hallock-Greenewalt. Nevertheless objective correspondences between color and sound are rare. André Rangel’ “SoLu” is an installation which converts “the exponential spacing of the intervals between fundamental frequencies of the notes comprised in a piano’s texture” into “linear spacing from the wavelengths of the visible electromagnetic spectrum”. SoLu produces generated algorithmic compositions whose melodic line and beats per minute can be controlled via a stick. Rangel underlines the fact that people with few musical skills can easily use this “instrument”, but it’d be interesting to research further if this is due to the universality of the interface or to the hypothesis that in this way we perceive the two domains (audio and video) as a whole in a sort of merged synesthesia.