Science is fun pt.2: Play Kandinsky - synesthetic attempt

in #science2 months ago

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist, known as the pioneer of abstract art.

This is one of his most famous paintings Yellow-red-blue

So, how does one painter can be played? For answer and actual try, keep reading :)
Kandinsky was synesthete.

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which real information received through one sense, automatically and unconsciously evokes additional experience of another sense or more senses. The ancient Greeks described this simultaneous permeation of multiple senses by a word that combines the simultaneity of experience and perception (syn+aisthesis -together+perception).

Neurologists have found that in people who have this ability, certain nuclei in the brain are connected in a different way than in most people.
Researches say that in the case of a synesthete, two senses are usually connected, and people with whom three or more are connected are very rare.
People who have this ability can, for example, hear some music and see its shape at the same time; they always have the same experiences, meaning, same music, same shape.
For them, the experience of the synesthesia is very realistic and can be compared, for example, with the experience of touch.
Although this happens all the time, people with synesthesia are aware which perceptual part comes form real stimulus and which is correlate.
Synesthetic experiences are unique to each person. Interesting is that a person may be unaware of his abilities because she/he has always perceived the world that way, and takes for granted this condition, so it comes to realization that something is different when discussing about perception with other people.

This online tool lets users hear what Kandinsky might have heard when he painted Yellow-red-blue. All of the music in the experiment was written by AI, which was trained based on what is known about Kandinsky.s condition.
Not that we can really understand how it feels, but can give some idea and is fun :)

Jimi Hendrix was synesthete too, he used to describe chords and harmonies as colors. It is said that he called his song Purple haze by that name because he saw his song as a purple mist; there are also other versions of how song got its name but will pass discussing that... ;)

Here are some other scientists and artist that were synesthete also:
Nikola Tesla sound/color
Leonard Bernstein - timbre/color
Eugen Bleuler - phonemes/color
Richard Feynman - grapheme/color
Franz Liszt - music/color
Richard Wagner sound/color

When I was doing research for this topic, noticed that musicians are outnumbering other professions; hmmm @mipiano noticed anything unusual about your perception? ;D

Enjoy the experiment and join spread the vibes of science by sharing your fun experiences and knowledge :)


WOW! Didn't realise Kadinsky and some other peeps I like (Feynman, Tesla) all have/had this ability to 'see' sounds. One that is not part of your list, is the painter Melissa McCracken. A relatively unknown painter if I may add, but one I stumbled upon years ago and devoted a tiny post to in my early days of Steemit, back in early 2017 (post:

The tool you shared, what a great one. Truly LOVE the sound of Grey/Black under the Kadinsky button. Red sounds super to my ears and brains (well, the two cells that I've left) as well. In painting itself: The Red movement is what I like a lot (the only electronic one as far as I could discover :)). The Blue and especially the Blue/Green, I love as well. The latter is due to its violins, I think. Love that instrument.

What a great find!

Ever since I discovered this phenomenon synthesis, I wish I could see sounds. But, I suppose I'm 'normal'. That said, peeps having this ability may like to be 'normal' since I can imagine when seeing colours all the time when hearing sounds, this can be quite annoying.

EDIT: had to visit the website of Melissa to see if she still shows her painting of the 'Imagine' song by John Lennon. Unfortunately not. Painting in 2015, this painting was still available as a print (not the original painting) on her website back when I discovered her. Didn't want a print. Wanted the original in my home. Instead, I used the digital image as profile photo and background at various of my social media for quite some time. Even Steemit profile background was painted ' Imagine' for a long time. Anyways... Melissa has a whole list of songs she created a painting for:

The science sparkles are sparkling hahaha, I mean, the vibes of science are spreading, hooray!!! This is your strong field, I see, but with a very developed artistic approach too. And you even summed up music, painting and science in one. Just a perfect article! Synaesthesia!

Hive says : Thank you for bringing here the tool for trying out the experiment! 🙌

Ok, I went through all the possibilities and especially liked the section try it yourself. So, as my favourite colour is blue, I went for the big blue circle, mmm, organ sound and labelled as heavenly. Also explained as deep inner peace for the emotion. Not a bad match :) Until the inner peace rules generally on me, I can give myself some sporadic restlessness!

Also, I went for the small orange trapeze, electric piano sound, labelled as heatlthy oh, it says radiance and seriousness. Not bad either.

Loved all the lines, horizontal or curved, oblique, all of them. Even I played all of them at the same time, or the majority, maybe I didnt see some of the small ones, and those metallic sounds, objects and percussions give very very interesting base grid for music but at the same time it is unpredictable. How nice, I could spend more time there, but time is running, a pity not having more of it to play a bit more.

Yes, I see on the list many musicians, maybe synaesthesia is something that many of them developed being constantly in touch with music and hence provoking all the time those reactions? Oh, it didn't sound very exciting, so let me correct, yes, musicians maybe have it by default :D

Blue and Orange. What about Red? The only electronic one in the painting ;)
And what about the colour Grey/Black behind the first button, named 'Kadinsky'?

The black dot (Kandinsky section) was the first I liked, a lot. Red, if you mean the red cross, the violin? Or the red dot

What didn't get my attention was the sad (I think it was purple) - edit, light violet, saw now.

EDIT: I went back now to the tool and checked on the red you asked for, so the red in the section Hear the painting is super, with all those very low bass sound playing, but as well, the same when you are in the try it yourself, that is the red - nice violin I thought. So both are great. The blue I liked and connected the most was the big blue in try it yourself and in hear the painting too.

As I said, more time would be needed to explore all the combinations from there :)

The Red cross in Hear-the-Painting, the violins indeed :)
Yea, the one in DYI is also nice, for sure.
Such a great little web-app! 🙃🎶

Such a great little web-app! 🙃🎶

It is, indeed. Although the samples were made by artificial intelligence, it is still so interesting to think that Kandinsky heard the colours and patterns in this way.

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