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Sound and color at Santa Monica Museum of Art

Surround Sound is meant to activate sight when electronic music hits surround color paintings.

Music and painting sometimes share a language. Color is applicable to both, as is chromatic. They also share physics. Colors, for instance, are waveforms, as are tones.  

Moreover, musicians and visual artists regularly inspire one another. Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel,” which played late at night under the stars at the Ojai Festival last month, honors in tone Mark Rothko’s last paintings. Currently at the Timothy Taylor Gallery in London is an exhibition by Sean Scully, who has entitled his paintings made up of blocks of color, “Kind of Red” — a response to Miles Davis’ classic album, “Kind of Blue.”

But too seldom do music and painting actually share a physical space as will be the case Saturday afternoon at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, where electronic music composer Mark Trayle will present an hour-long sonically immersive concert in the midst of Robert Swain’s “The Form of Color,” an immersive exhibition of color test patterns that surround the viewer. Trayle’s music of chromatically swelling electronic sounds have the analogous potential of engulfing the ear. 

The concert, which begins at 3, is presented by the aptly named Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound. In sibilant acronym heaven this event is SASSAS at SMMoA. Say it aloud and you’re almost sonically there. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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