The Sound of Red

deep red colour

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was a Russian composer who claimed his classical compositions were deeply influenced by synaesthesia. Hearing colour as sound Scriabin experimented with the relationship between the auditory and visual senses in his compositions.

In his revolutionary work Prometheus Scriabin ambitiously designed a clavier à lumières, or colour organ, which projected various colours throughout the theatre in accordance with the movement of the melody and tone of the instruments.

The colour “deep red” was heard by Scriabin as an “F” on the chromatic scale.

Red: a colour of extremes. It is love, violence and destruction. It is the colour that rises and falls as we negotiate the world.

Red: the colour of lava, of molten rock forming new worlds out of old. It is the colour of our beginning and our conclusion.

Red: the colour of blood and fire. It is the colour that ebbs and flows with our own vitality.

The sound of red: its deep enriching tones flood our veins. Listening to the sound of red I long for the world in which Scriabin inhabited, a place where sound blurs with colour, a place with no division.

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