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Music in Colour: Exploring the world of composers who saw colours while listening to music

When I hear music... I always hear colour complexes in my mind
— Olivier Messiaen 

Maria Levandovskaya (pianist) and Opera Prelude’s Sophie Pullen (soprano). 

What do you feel when listening to music? Can you see colours, images, geometrical objects, and how does music play on all of our senses? Franz Liszt famously asked orchestral musicians to play ‘a little bluer’ or ‘not so pink’, while Russian painter Vasily Kandinsky said ‘Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many strings’ 

This morning we will explore an interesting psychological phenomenon Synaesthesia, where sounds evoke involuntary visual experiences, and the way different composers use tonality and musical devices to provoke sensations in the listener. Musical examples from Rimsky-Korsakov, Scriabin and Messiaen are performed on the piano by Maria Levandovskaya and by Opera Prelude singers.