The Color Play user arranges colorful plastic wedges of varying widths to compose a sound loop. Each color represents a pitch and the width of the wedge determines rhythm. The goal is to experience a voluntary feeling of synesthesia – hear pitch by seeing color.

The relationship between sound and color has been a curiosity throughout history. The Color Play was originally inspire by Newton, who created a color wheel with corresponding pitches.

The design is based on a record player, and features removable trays, interchangeable color pieces, and a knob to change the speed of the spin. A light up arrow points to the color sensor made from an RGB LED and a photocell. Because each color absorbs and reflects unique colors of light, it shines Red, Green, and Blue light at the target and records the amount of light that returns. The Arduino sends a midi note to Ableton based on these values.

The Color Play is a project by Louise Foo and Natasha Dzurny from Introduction to Physical Computing at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. Please contact us to find out more.