Fugue for Theater Lights and Microphone

By Theo Trevisan '21 and Will Griffith '21

Welcome to the Fugue for Theater Lights and Microphone! To participate, please step into the booth (one person at a time), listen, and record a sound of before you leave. Your sound and the resulting synaesthetic analysis will be looped for a while until a later recorded sound eventually replaces it.

Our project addresses a type of transformation called synesthesia, or the experience of a group of people called synesthetes, specifically the subset who are called sound-color synesthetes, whose minds convert sound into color. Our project aims to replicate the experiences of sound-color synesthesia for everyone in an immersive way, while avoiding the trap of relying on arbitrary and limited conversions from sound to color.

Our main artistic considerations and challenges included finding a way to include people outside the booth in the synaesthetic experience and finding a way to make everyone’s recording have some value. We wanted to make something that could be fun and encourage exploration for both musicians and non-musicians. Our main engineering challenges included working with our programming language’s complicated system of sound analysis and physically creating the booth.

We had to learn many new skills, including metal fabrication, sewing, and new types of programming to create everything necessary for the booth. Artistically, making a multimedia project with visuals was a large departure from the experiences we had both had composing music.