Synesthesia – a Surrealist game

created 2 January 2009 updated with images 7 january 2009

This game is used to generate music based on words or images, and generate words or images based on music.

  • Music to word/image – while musicians perform, the other participants either draw or write what the music expresses to them. This can approach techniques of automatic writing/drawing, depending on the inclinations of individual participants.
  • Word/image to music – a visual or verbal artifact created by participants in another activity is shown to musicians, who then proceed to play improvisationally what the words or images suggest to them.

It would be possible to create an iterative dialogue or feedback loop in which the pictures/stories produced in response to the music are then fed back to the musicians for further improvisation. How much would the music change through this double mediation – being reinterpreted by the musicians based on artists’ and poets’ interpretations? The results should be documented digitally by photographing, videotaping or making audio recordings.

Below are scans of two examples of music to image synesthesia:

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