Approaching Color and Music

For the 2013 edition of Ten x Ten, Homeroom put visual artists in collaboration with composers writing for a small ensemble instead of the bands and solo performers of past iterations. In an effort to increase the level of dialogue between the resulting music and prints, Homeroom hosted a lecture and workshop called Visual Music 101 that took place at the Spudnik Annex in February 2013. The lecture focused on relationships between color and music starting with early 20th century painting inspired by music and continuing up through light organs, abstract animation, and contemporary digital manifestations of visual music. Writer David Metcalfe discussed with the Ten x Ten participants different methods and techniques for merging sound and image, using his contribution to the book Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music (ALARM Press) as a jumping off point.
To further emphasize the relationship between color and musical timbre, the composers were asked to compose for a ensemble of one of two instrumentations, one dominated by winds, one by strings. Their corresponding printmaker was asked to worked from limited color palette in order to compliment each ensemble's warm or cool timbre. The composer/printmaker partnerships were then left to discuss ideas and strategies to bring to bear on their collaborative pieces. 8 months later, the pieces are complete and ready to be viewed and heard!