– Synästhesie und Farblichtmusik by Jörg Jewanski and Natalia Sidler focuses on the research on the color-light-music of Alexander Lászlo who in 1925 achieved overwhelming success with his multimedeia show.

Farbe-Licht-Musik, 1st generation, piano / organ

This study focuses on the research on the color-light-music of Alexander Lászlo who in 1925 achieved overwhelming success with his multimedia show. A short time after his new art form fell into oblivion. The autors of this work revived and developed the experiments of Lászlo: his music has been rediscovered and coupled with actual visuals. Today’s artists have reflected on Lászlo's Sonatina for piano and Color-light in a creative way. Synesthetes who automatically perceive musical colors and forms, have presented their personal images of his music.
Natalia Sidler’s Color-Light-Piano was especially constructed eight years ago, and this book examines the experience gained from this instrument during the past eight years an re-evaluates the relationship between color, light and music.
(Text editor and translation: M. Saliba)


Source: Natalia Sidler



Beginning in 1925, László performed Farblichtmusik concerts with his color-light piano, colored spotlights, and four slide projectors, with music varying from his own compositions to Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Dr. Jörg Jewanski writes:
"After this, László became very popular in Germany. He had conceived the idea of combining music and painting in a way that would subordinate neither art to the other. To this end, he began collaborating with the German painter Matthias Holl. Acting on László's ideas, Holl painted watercolor pictures, which were transferred onto slides."
In 1926 László collaborated with Oskar Fischinger, who provided reels of abstract film imagery, screened on multiple projectors at the Farblichtmusik performances. This became the first public multimedia event using abstract cinema, combining Fischinger's films with László light projections, music and painted slides:
"In March 1926, there was a collaboration between Fischinger and László at one concert in Munich, where a film of Fischinger was used… Fischinger and László both were satisfied with this experiment, and in April 1926 they signed a contract. László was to pay 3 Deutsche Mark for every meter of Fischinger's film he used in his Farblichtmusik-concerts."
Fischinger, in a June 1926 letter to the director of the Munich City Theatre, refers to László's Farblichtmusik performance there on March 7. He stated the performance was visually dependent on his film work, and offered the director a special show, Fieber I, II and III, which he planned with music by Korngold, to be performed independent of László (though he would need László's approval). Fischinger confirmed he would provide and assemble the projection apparatus.
("Space Light Art - Early Abstract Cinema and Multimedia, 1900-1959" by Cindy Keefer)

Source: Center for Visual Music



ISBN-10: 3039106368
ISBN-13: 978-3039106363



Farbe-Licht-Musik, 1st generation, piano / organFarbe-Licht-Musik, 1st generation, piano / organ


Sons et Lumières (2004) – A History of Sound in the Art of the 20th Century (in French) by Marcella Lista and Sophie Duplaix published by the Centre Pompidou for the excellent Paris exhibition in September 2004 until January 2005.

Curated by the Pompidou’s Sophie Duplaix with the Louvre’s Marcella Lista, the show required a good three or four hours to absorb, with its bombardment of sensory and intellectual input, including painting, sound sculpture, sound/light automata, film and video, and room-size installations. (Frieze Magazine)

Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses (2002) by Richard E. Cytowic disposes of earlier criticisms that the phenomenon cannot be real, demonstrating that it is indeed brain-based. Following a historical introduction, Cytowic lays out the phenomenology of synesthesia in detail and gives criteria for clinical diagnosis and an objective test of genuineness. (MIT Press)



Optical Poetry (2004) by Dr. William Moritz is the long-awaited, definitive biography of Oskar Fischinger. The result of over 30 years of research on this visionary abstract filmmaker and painter. In addition to Moritz's comprehensive biography, it includes numerous photographs in colour and black and white (many never before published), statements by Oskar Fischinger about his films, a newly created extensive filmography, and a selected bibliography. (John Libbey Publishing)

Len Lye (1901-1980) was an experimental film-maker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor, eccentric and ebullient personality. Len Lye was one of the few filmmakers working in inter-war Britain to have established an international reputation in experimental filmmaking. Though his British oeuvre was by no means limited to the making of abstract films, this was the area that most interested Len Lye and he has sometimes been viewed as the only genuine avant-garde filmmaker of this period. (screenonline)

Symphonie Diagonale (1924) - original title: Symphonie Diagonale. In Diagonal Symphony by Viking Eggeling, the emphasis is on objectively analyzed movement rather than expressiveness on the surface patterning of lines into clearly defined movements, controlled by a mechanical, almost metronomic tempo. (Standish Lawder: "Structuralism and Movement in Experimental Film and Modern Art, l896-192l", doctoral dissertation)

Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) was an American non-narrative filmmaker who is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th century experimental film. Stan Brakhage's films are usually silent and lack a story, being more analogous to visual poetry than to prose story-telling. He often referred to them as "visual music" or "moving visual thinking." His films range in length from just a few seconds to several hours, but most last between two or three minutes and one hour. He frequently hand-painted the film or scratched the image directly into the film emulsion, and sometimes used collage techniques. (Experimental Cinema)

Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen (1994) by French critic and composer Michel Chion reassesses audiovisual media since the revolutionary 1927 debut of recorded sound in cinema, shedding crucial light on the mutual relationship between sound and image in audiovisual perception. (Colombia University Press)