synaesthesia - the concept behind the software

The phenomenon of synaesthesia* has been a focus of Kriton Beyer’s artistic work for a number of years and is the main underlying concept of the software. The shift in the perception and the depiction of the human environment when changing the correlation of information or sensory impressions – “connecting the dots in a different way” – has proved to be an inspiring strategy for creative work and in particular sonic improvisation.

As the colourful and inventive musical instructions indicating mood and expression that were common in classical music show, historically it has always been usual to describe musical content with a description borrowed from a different, non-auditory sense: e.g. a “sweet sound”, a “sharp sound”, a “dark sound” etc.

In the CinePrompt® software many different “metaphorical” descriptions or instructions of such type are given to the musicians as well as additional stimuli for their performance. There is a feature that connects colour to emotion for example, based on Plutchik’s theory of the wheel of emotions that relates basic colours to basic human emotions. Other features offer the option to connect visual information of the film with basic shapes, or to choose from a set of categorized descriptions of taste, smell and touch. In this way different senses are mixed up, redistributed and reunited in new and previously unimagined configurations, furnishing musicians with unusual compositional possibilities and scope.

As it is usual in professional film scoring, particular emphasis is put on the emotional depth or emotional dimension of the film. Emotion is considered here as a separate, independent sense. Since musical expression is strongly connected to human emotion, it makes it very easy to stress, deepen, enhance and express the emotional dimension of the film.
* Synaesthesia: perceiving sensory data of one sense with another, e.g.: seeing sounds or hearing colours, a blending of sensory experiences