|Connoisseurs and lovers of modern music know, that the mysticistic visions in Alexander Scriabins' work call on realising utopic spatialities. What misses is the attempt to translate into performing action Scriabins' ideas. There are difficulties - especially the optical realisation of the so called "colour piano" by kinetics of light and colour - which cannot be solved within usual musical activity.
Therefore it suggested itself to realize Scriabins "Prometheus" in visual translation into colours as an all-arts work, through the cooperation of the Secretary for Joint Cultural Work of Nordrhein-Westfalen in the cities of Bochum, Dusseldorf, Hamm and Mulheim/Ruhr. The goal of such a cooperation lies in profounding and disseminating the comprehension of masterpieces of modern music. Also desired is an economy of forces, through which longlasting, intense processes oft art shall be offered to a wide public.
Work for orchestra and colour piano
by Alexander Scjabin
About the development and visual realisation
Alexander Scrjabin did not leave many notes about the use of the colour piano in his work Prometheus and unfortunately even less about its function.
The rare informations suggested two possible interpretations to me.
At first a game of colours of it's own, creating spatialy sensed impressions of colour-tones by combining laserlight, spotlights, filters, structures and coloured surfaces, directed synchronously with the tonal occurrences.
I had the impression, that this option did not came near enough the intentions of Scrjabin, so I decided to choose the second version:
A visual translation as close to the intentions as posible. To do so, notes or schemes of function by the author are a necessity. As already mentioned both did not exist. Indirectly I had to acquire an adequate realisation for the work.
Within the pertinent literature mostly nothing more than the mention of the colour piano can be found. Srjabin himself permitted performing his work without the colour piano too, what merely was a concession to the insufficient possibilities of the technical realisation at that time rather than conviction. To him it surely was an important factor to the effect, and not at all purely experimental.
In the score the colour piano is noted down with Luce as an equally treated instrument, with the only difference, that it undertakes optical instead of acustical functions.
A multimedial idea: To join seeing and hearing, to create a synthesis of two media.
It is supposed that in addition to the play of colours accompanying the harmonies, Srjabin imagined an independent background of colour, running through the spectrum once.
|Leonard Sabanejew translated Scrjabins conception of colour for each of the 12 tunes of the octave as follows.
Scheme of colour structure
I based the scheme of colour structure on the 12 colours choosen by Scrjabin except for some unessential changings.
The proportional quantity of the 12 colours I had to calculate from the score.
Scheme of function
Carrying idea was to represent the 12 colours of the octave through 12 columns of light (neon tubes) and increase them by the calculated number. All columns are controled by contacts at the threshold pedal and keyboard. The single key controls the colour and the threshold pedal the amount of columns in function. With the second octave a wider spatial movement of the colours is posible.
The player of the piano of colours is equipped with a kinetic object with which he performes according to the score. No special technical knowledge is necessary for it.