News of changes, events and new releases.
Lumia, images and links to other sites where people are creating dynamic visual art.
Software and ideas for creating your own lumia, including instruments to connect sound and vision.
Comments from visitors like you.
Credits, footnotes, bios, and other loose ends.
Annotated bibliographies, books, a timeline, profiles of pioneers, and other historical and background material.
Full-text copies of books from the late 19th and early 20th century.
Annotated listings of books and articles related to the history, theory, and techniques of designing instruments and producing lumia.
Highlights in the history of art, science and invention that has produced a visual art like music.
Discussions of topics and background material of interest to lumianists.
Other web sites with related historical and theoretical information.
Order visual music for your computer.

In music there are big changes (such as a change in key) and small changes (such as where in a phrase an emphasis is placed). Changes in hue appear to the eye as large, relative to changes in tint or tone.

Scriabin held that each mode corresponded to a particular shade of colour, and each modulation to a nuance of this shade. Changes from the major into the minor could therefore be underliend by strong contrasts, on a visual as well as a chromatic level. This was one of the most important aspects of Scriabin's research into new areas of expression. His imagination had been stimulated by theosophical reading, and he dreamed of lighting up the whole of the concert hall to fit the music which was being played at the time. But in practice the performances of Prometheus which took place at the Carnegie Hall, New York, and the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, did not live up to his ambitions. The projection depended entirely on a small screen which was placed behind the orchestra, and they made very little impression on the audience.

Frank Popper, Origins and Development of Kinetic Art 1968, 157-8

Beethoven is said to have called B minor the black key. Schubert likened E minor “unto a maiden robed in white with a rose-red bow on her breast.” One Russion composer said, “Rimsky-Korsakoff and many of us in Russia have felt the connection between colors and sonorities. Surely for everybody sunlight is C major and cold colors are minors. And F-sharp is decidedly strawberry red!” Of his subtle compositions Debussy wrote: “I realized that music is very delicate, and it takes, therefore, the soul at its softest fluttering to catch these violet rays of emotion.”

Tom Douglas Jones, The Art of LIght & COlor 1972, 102

Dr. D.S. Myers, a psychologist who talked with Scriabin, said, “Sriabin’s attention was first seriously drawn to his colored hearing owing to an experience at a concert in Paris, where sitting next to his fellow countryman and composer Rimsky-Korsakoff, he remarked that the piece to which they were listening (in D major) seemed to him yellow; whereupon his neighbor replied that to him, too, the color seemed golden. Scriabin has since compared with his compatriot and with other musicians the color effects of other keys, especially B, C major, and F-sharp major, and believes a general agreement to exist in this respect. He admits, however, that whereas to him the key of F-sharp major appears violet, to Rimsky-Korsakoff it appears green; but this derivation he attributed to an accidental association with the color of leaves and grass arising from the frequent use of this key for pastoral music. He allows that there is some disagreement as to the color effect of the key of G major. Nevertheless, as is so universally the case with the subjects of synesthesia, he believes that the particular colors which he obtains must be shared by all endowed with colored hearing.”

Tom Douglas Jones, The Art of LIght & COlor 1972, 103

Copyright 1998–2001 Fred Collopy. This document was last updated on 6/17/01; it is located at