Synaesthesia Project

It began with blocks of colour and a cassette tape of sounds. 

dexsyn01

This is a project that began back in 2000, I was reading Rimbaud, Vowels. It got me thinking. Was there a way to create a whole alphabet of colours? I researched synaesthesia, and stumbled across Schoenberg and Kandinsky’s work into the subject. This got me thinking about an alphabet of colours and sounds.

I created a colour block alphabet, each letter had a square colour block. Press ‘a’ you got a red block. ‘b’ a tan coloured block, and so on.

Then with the help of Ben Leighton, who helped with sounds we managed to create a simple macro based system. the sounds though were created separately on a cassette player.  26 sounds representing the alphabet that were then cut and pasted together to form ‘words’. It was all very simple and raw.

I worked for several years trying to get the system to work in a more cohesive way. Technology just wasn’t there yet. Or wasn’t available to me just yet.

I let it live on the shelf for a long time.

Then back in 2013 I had a chance conversation with Liz Dobson, Lecturer at Huddersfield University. She was starting a collaborative space where creatives could collaborate on projects. Through this group I met Reuben Thomas and Alex Baker.

With their knowledge and skills we have managed to create the software that creates sound sculptures and animated art from the typed poem. This accompanies the performed poem.