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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathAudiovisions
Lichttempel (Wyschnegradsky, Ivan)Auditorium (Stockhausen, Karlheinz)Licht (Stockhausen, Karlheinz)
Dream House (La Monte Young), 1962

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surrounding «Der Blaue Reiter» and Kandinsky. Skrjabin's «Mysterium,» in which both colored lights and scents were meant to contribute to a synthesis of the arts and a holistic sensory experience, remained unfinished. Neither the scent organ nor the hemispherical building intended for the performance of «Mysterium» were ever built.

Instead of keys, Olivier Messiaen created a system of socalled modes on which to base his music. Similar to the way in which certain functions were attached to the ecclesiastical keys within a liturgy, each of Messiaen's modes are based on an individual scale and are assigned certain colors. [14] In addition, Messiaen established references to ornithology and elaborated on this extensive system in his seven-volume «Traité de rhythme, de couleur, et d’ornithologie.» [15] However, his works are pure sound; the union of color and tone, of form and time constitute only an ideal basis. Perception of the «magic of the impossible, thus the identity of time and color» [16] is left to the recipient's power of imagination.

The Russian Ivan Wyschnegradsky followed the systemic approaches developed by Skrjabin and Messiaen. He constructed a microtonal scale divided up into seventy-two equally tempered intervals (instead of the twelve semitones of our normal scale) and liquidated octave periodicity. Wyschnegradsky developed a system of ‹total analogy›


by dissecting colored circles into concentric rings and cells according to tone-systemic rules, thus arriving at 5,184 color-tone cells. His vision was one of a cosmic, spherical «Temple of Light,» which like Skrjabin's «Mysterium» was never realized.

Space, Color, Time

At the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, a hemispherical Auditorium was built— according to designs drawn up by Karlheinz Stockhausen—for the first time. Sounds could move spatially through the auditorium over fifty speakers. The speaker assignment and the shining of thirty-five sources of white light were controlled intuitively using special ‹spherical sensors.› [17] In the decades to come, Stockhausen consolidated his synthesizing approach to art into a personal mythology and executed it in his comprehensive work series «LICHT

The Fluxus artist La Monte Young can only be partially regarded in the tradition of these composers. His system of sound and harmony is based on mathematical principles and concentrates on the phenomenon of time, as oscillations are temporal phenomena. His first concept for «Dream House,» a «living organism with a life and tradition of its own» which he developed in collaboration with the light artist Marian Zazeela, dates back to 1962. «Dream

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