Color research:

colored.notes_I looked up some of methods that have been practiced with translating music; the most obvious is Synesthesia. That is people who have a sensory response to another sensory perception; that is, some can taste words, see colors, feel sounds, etc, there are many different forms that can concentrate on different areas such as ‘Personification’ which is “where ordered sequences, like numbers, days of the week or letters all have particular personalities, and even appearances” or ‘Mirror-touch’ “when you feel the same sensation another person feels.”

I also found a TED talk from a man called Neil Harbisson, a colour- blind artist, who had a chip implated to connect him to an ‘eye’ that allows him to hear color. When a color is shown to the eye is registers it as a tone, hence he can recognise the color by the tone; he has translated speeches and songs, he arranges his food into songs, and wears chords with his clothes, he has categorized faces into tones hence it has changed his perception of ‘beauty’. He has his own translator chip, that works with what he has to upgrade his system.

There is a report by Mike Niederquell from 2010, where he presents Blair Neal’s ‘color translator’, in which he draws on clear acetate and projects it, using a computer to recognize the colors and change them into sound; you can also change the sound that each color corresponds to.

“The interaction is meant to be very simple and playful, hence the major scale. It would be much more difficult for someone to walk up and have fun with a chromatic scale. Like any instrument, one would have to spend a lot of time to make a composition worth listening to and this is just a demo of the sonic abilities/responsiveness.”

There is also a report by Stuart Mitchell from 2011, where he talks about translating DNA into music; “…As the tape passes through the head of the recorder it is ‘read’ and converted into music or other sounds. Thus magnetic markings are ‘translated’ into notes.

When a ‘tape’ of mRNA passes through the ‘playing head’ of a ribosome, the ‘notes’ which are produced are amino acids, and the ‘pieces of music’ which they make up are proteins. Thus DNA as the base code provides the structural framework, thus the notes of amino acids are formed into are proteins or ‘pieces of music’.”

[Douglas Hofstadter. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.(New York: Vintage Books Edition,(1980)]

He states that just as music is simply defined as “the organisation of sound into a definable audible expression”, DNA works in the same method; as DNA utilizes sound and vibration as a tool for building proteins into cells then into whole beings. The whole idea apparently begins with a Dr. Susumu Ohno, who wrote about connecting the DNA code into a music composition; as it turns out DNA and Sound are just another translation of language.


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