Correspondences

As an instrument designer, I read the writing of  artists, musicians, inventors, film makers, and to an extent syntesthetes and psychologists, with an eye to their ideas about how music and visual art could be related to affect audiences. This way of reading is, for me, like engaging the writer in an interview in which I return repeatedly to such questions as “what kinds of expression would you like to achieve in your work?” and “what kind of knobs would help get you there?”

Building upon Karl Gerstner’s work, I organize their answers to my implicit questions as a network of working hypotheses about correspondences between the two art forms: painting (broadly conceived) and music. These correspondences represent little more, but also nothing less, than interesting hypotheses, areas of possibility, zones of mystery to be explored.

HuePurityFormMotion
Pitchhue to
pitch
purity to
pitch
size to
pitch
Amplitudepurity to
amplitude
thickness to
amplitude
Timbre
Overtones
hue to
timbre
Harmonycolor chords & discords
purity to
dissonance
Tempo
Rhythm

shape to
speed
action to
rest
Melodypath to
melody
Modehue to
mode
purity to modulation