Sounds of Colour



Rita De Muynck has developed since 1993 a trance technique to generate an experimental synaesthesia of image and sound (unlike painting in an associative way while listening to music).


Using this technique, she created a series of paintings based on a selection of works by the contemporary composers below. The series systematically explored varying levels of emotion and areas of experience. The music ranged widely from “Celebration or la Joie de Vivre” to “Requiem”.


At the KlangNetze [Sounds of Colour] installation at the GALERIE DER KÜNSTLER, the visitors were first taken through a “sound channel” where they were put into a trance-like state and given specific suggestions designed to produce the capacity for synaesthesia (hearing colours).
The area was also lit with evocatively coloured lights. After that, the visitors were led to each of the paintings where they listened to the music.


Many visitors spontaneously took synaesthesia further and “saw”, “felt” physical movement, dance – evidently another level of perception was being accessed. They reported a very intense and deep experience when looking at the paintings and were able to recall even years later in great detail what they had seen.


The hugely positive feedback led De Muynck to create sound-synaesthesia for her works which formed the basis for sound collages.


Note: This experiment was performed under controlled psychological conditions and should not be attempted without specialised expertise.


Synesthesia of painting, music, and lyrics GALERIE DER KÜNSTLER Munich, October 1998

Painting: Rita De Muynck
Music: Gloria Coates, Dorothee Eberhard, Adriana Hölzky, Eun-Sil Kwon, Uschi Laar, Helga Pogatschar
Lyrics: Alma Larsen
Scientific advice: Prof. Dr. Toni Forster
Speaker: Rüdiger Ullrich, Rita De Muynck
Photos: Alma Larsen, Jean Marie Bottequin
Idea and concept: Rita De Muynck