Optic-music instrument


Artist:  Nourathar Studio

Authors: Caen Botto & Marta Rupérez

Title: Chromaticaster

Date: 2019

Medium: Interactive, optical illusion. Mixed media; LCD screen, computer, Arduino, sound system, wood, lens, perspex, keyboard.

Custom application developed in Max/MSP/Jitter by Caen Botto

Dimensions:  · Display: 42,5 (h) x 54,5 (w) x 25 (d) cm

                          · Keyboard: 3,5 (h) x 47 (w) x 12 (d)

                          · Speakers: 30,5 (h) x 12 (w) x 12 (d)

Edition: unique within a series of 5


> Synaesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway, as in a "crossing of the senses". Digital synesthesia uses audiovisual resources to emulate this perceptual phenomenon in an extrinsic way.

Chromaticaster presents an interactive controller of musical & optical illusion. The piece offers a new interpretation of light organs that explore different levels of synesthetic correspondences. The notes on the keyboard are associated with colours and objects that appear on the viewer. These three-dimensional shapes generate the illusion of proceeding from an infinitely distant sound source, they act as a visual representation of the movement of sound through space.

The investigation into the relation between the sound and colour spectra, characteristic of Nourathar's work, pays tribute to other light organs designed by pioneers of technological art of the early 20th century. These include: Mary Hallock Greenewalt's Sarabet, where the correspondence between colour and sound depended on the performer, Thomas Wilfred's Lumia, which silent light compositions in motion, or Xul Solar's modified keyboards.