Ambitious projects like Hubert Nuss' The Book of Colours are not unheard of. Here, the German pianist endeavors to explore multiple modes based on a color wheel. Russian synesthete and composer Alexander Scriabin was profoundly moved by the smell and feel of color in his composing, attempting a synthesis of the five senses in his unfinished Mysterium that was to have been realized as a week-long combination of music, scent, dance, and light--all performed in the foothills of the Himalayas where, in the words of the composer, listeners would experience a grandiose religious synthesis of all arts which would herald ...read more
Music is a treat for the ears, for the sense of hearing. But are the borders separating the senses permeable? Can Red Garland's piano notes be said to sparkle?" Can Paul Desmond's alto saxophone have the sound of a dry martini? Are these metaphors, perhaps, based to some extent on realities along a continuum of sensory perception?Quite possibly. Someone with the condition of synesthesia can experience flashes of color upon hearing a sound. Pianist Jessica Williams hears a particular musical note and sees it as a distinct color. Denny Zeitlin, a pianist also, goes into a sounds-experienced-as-colors synesthesia ...read more
Already in his forties and an in-demand player in his native Germany with the NDR and WDR Radio Big Bands, among others, pianist Hubert Nuss is something of an unknown entity elsewhere, certainly to North American audiences. And that's a shame, because based on the strength of Feed the Birds, his first release for the relatively nascent Pirouet label, he's a refreshing voice, comfortably combining the more abstract impressionism of pianists like John Taylor (with whom he studied at the Cologne School of the Arts) with a more American-centric sense of swing. He argues that somewhere between the two aesthetics ...read more
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