Friday, April 17, 2009

Music and colour as compositions

Image (c) Kevin Laycock

Since the time of Aristotle – who famously ascribed colours to the individual notes of the music scale – artists, writers and musicians have explored the relationship between music and visual perception. One such artist is Kevin Laycock, a lecturer at the School of Design at the University of Leeds, who in his previous work engaged a rigorous approach to colour theory (see his gallery in issue 1 of the SDC online journal Colour: Design & Creativity

In his new artworks, he has produced a show that aligns the theory of music with the colour scale. The exhibition entitled entitled ‘Collision’ features abstract paintings and digital projections, produced with the composer Michael Berkeley. Kevin’s visuals will form a digital wallpaper based on the formal elements of composition found in the accompanying musical scores before the composer replies in turn with four electronic responses – his first serious compositions for electronic and electro-acoustic instruments.

Michael Berkeley explains, ‘Kevin painted several oils but also decided to create computer-generated patterns to rhythmic and individual lines in several of my pieces. The work, which lasts 45 minutes, can be played with live musicians or recorded sound but, either way, the pieces are linked and surrounded by new electronic sounds created by me in response, as it were, to Kevin’s response to the original pieces.’

The live premiere of Collision takes place on Sunday 26 April as part of Fuse Leeds. The exhibition then continues at Gallery Oldham, Oldham, until 27 June 2009.

by CMcN