Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the strings.The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul. Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the spiritual in Art, Munich, 1911
Synesthesia comes from the Greek συν (together), and αἰσθησία (feeling), and is the interference of various types of sensations of different senses in the same perceptual act where hear colors or see sounds is possible. Indeed, only some people perceive the world around them in this way, but art has managed to approach this interference of sensations. No wonder Paul Klee said that music had achieved –since the 18th-Century–, to solve the problem of abstraction, and it was the turn to painting to break those barriers. Over time, the gap between the disciplines of art has become increasingly shorter, such as visual arts and music. Thanks to its constant research and symbiosis between these different entities, art has risen to levels that could not have imagined. Then, we present five works of art that join music together with the visual arts.
1. Goyescas by Enrique Granados. The Spanish composer and pianist, passionate about the work and time of painter Francisco Goya, performs Goyescas for the piano, seven musical impressions that tell the love between two nice people from the first time they meet until their tragic death, and the subsequent appearance of their spectrum
2. The Stravinsky Fountain by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle. Located on the square Stravinsky, this particular fountain is composed of sixteen sculptures depicting various works of composer Igor Stravinsky. These pieces move and spray water seems to dance to his music.
3. Kandinsky compositions. No painter has succeeded in painting closer to music as Kandinsky, both with their respective abstractions, Kandinsky discovered that by restricting the physical representation of the world of color, line and plane, it was possible to release the message of the concrete to abstract ideas.
4. Isle of the Dead by Rachmaninoff. This work of Russian composer is inspired by the eponymous paintings of Arnold Böcklin, based on the myth of Charon, which was inspiration not only for Rachmaninoff, years later, to the Art Nouveau, Surrealism and figures like Freud and Lenin. This pictorial work with several allegories, symbols and obscure references to death is perfectly represented by the symphonic poem of this great composer.
5. Pictures at an exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky. This composer performs this work inspired by the posthumous exhibition of ten paintings and writings of artist Viktor Hartmann, as a tribute to the composer wanted to “draw on music” some of the paintings on display.
Images: ©Wassily Kandinsky, ©Arnold Böcklin, ©Goya, ©Jean Tinguely, ©Niki de Saint-Phalle, ©Viktor Hartmann