Prelude in C Major acrylic on canvas 20 x 20 inch

Prelude in C Major
acrylic on canvas
20 x 20 inch

Paintings for Abstraction

I'm interested in the visualisation of music because it presents the opportunity to look at musical compositions in a different way.

These abstract paintings translate notes from a page of sheet music into distinct colours that are arranged in the order they are played. Similar to how words in a book are read and notes on a page are played, the colour blocks are ordered from left to right, top to bottom.

Bach's composition 'Prelude in C Major' a good piece to use for my abstraction assignment because only one note is played simultaneously which makes it  convenient to present as a painting. The arpeggio pattern that Bach uses is consistent throughout the whole piece until the last three bars. The ascending pattern plays five note chords from the lowest note to highest and then the three highest notes are repeated and the whole pattern is played again for each bar. This is why the painting is mostly identical on each left and right half.

For the colour palette I used red for the main note C. The next note in a C Major chord is E which I made yellow and the next note G, is blue. These primary colours align with the Major triad chord structure. Notes in between follow varying degrees between those colours. D is orange because it is in the middle of C (red) and E (yellow), and F is green because it is in between E (yellow) and G (blue) and so on. 

Each colour becomes paler the higher the octave and darker the lower the octave so as to be able to distinguish the range of notes in different octaves.

The abstract paintings also provoke thought about the phenomenon of synesthesia, more specifically chromesthesia, which is the sound to colour variation where sounds evoke an occurrence of colour in the person.

To accompany the geometric aesthetic of this algorithmic painting I painted the portrait of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach in a realist style. There is a juxtaposition between the two paintings because of the completely different figurative and abstract appearances. There is also the contrast between size and colours of each painting which creates a thought provoking experience for the viewer as to how they are related.

Bach Oil on Canvas 20 x 25.5 cm

Oil on Canvas
20 x 25.5 cm