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The acquistion of knowledge proceeds from the initial perception of information to its' classification and endowment with meaning. The ability of the visual system to take in vast amounts of information simultaneously make it well suited to the first stage of this process, whereas, the auditory system and its direct link to spoken language make it naturally suited to the second.

The assignment of patterns of speech to objects in the visual field has been fundamental to the development of language as has the ability to then visualize those names using a system of writing. The advent of computers and their ability to visualize information has profoundly reinforced the cyclical nature of this process. The interaction of the visual and aural senses continues to play a crucial role in the mechanism by which language evolves and by which knowledge is acquired and the dialectic they loosely embody suggests a structure for a language of music and color that may provide a context conducive its evolution.

That 'there is something to know' and that 'it is of an unchanging nature', when taken together, lead to a contradiction that man has been grappling with since Parmenides first voiced his opposition to the void. The dilema has been and continues to be reconciling the whole with its parts. Over the centuries the context of this discussion has clothed the matter in pairs of words. If the subject under discussion is logic we are confronted with the problem of reconciling deductive and inductive modes of reasoning. If it concerns the nature of the physical world it turns to holism versus atomism and the epistemologically charged duo of objective and subjective reality. At the heart of politics beat the laws that reconcile equality with freedom.

It is in the spirit of this dialectic that the Golden Section (Φ) presents itself as a possible candidate upon which to base a language of music and color. The whole and its parts seems mirrored by our senses. Music theory suggests that the aesthetics of the aural sense is integer based and sensitive to the parts. The visual sense, while it doesnt have as clear a mathematical basis, seems more wholistically inclined. If the integers represent the parts then Φ seems an intuitive choice for relating them to the whole. But assigning the senses to opposing poles of a dialectic is meaningless without a bridge and a way is needed to generate the integers from Φ that is analogous to the fibonacci series where Φ is generated from the integers. The ratios of just intonation must be included if the language is to serve as the common ground where the senses can interact. As it turns out, the integers can be generated and this may be enough to warrant experimentation; but it is also worth noting that there also seem to be some indications that both music and color may have independent and pre-existing relations to Φ.

A pitfall in any attempt to formally link music and color is that the result will end up simply being colorful. This may, in fact, be the case with some of the compositions posted here. To tell the truth I find it difficult to judge since it is unclear to what degree success should be expected. So far I have experimented with only a few preliminary mappings and have instead devoted most of my time to developing the software. However, the audio portions may be of some interest on their own so I felt it was worthwhile posting them despite the inconclusive nature of the few mappings to color so far explored. The approach when it came to form was guided by the notion that it was best served if kept open to interpretation. To this end, a simple canvas was developed to randomize the placement of 3D models and save the results as branchgraphs which can be later associated with notes in the composition. The pieces produced so far are part of an ongoing experiment but should also be viewed as stand alone works of art.

xpoles from Andrew Hagerty on Vimeo.