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Five Studies After Joseph Albers
For SATB choir and solo piano.

Goethe's colour triangle.
Josef Albers was an American artist and educator who developed an experimental way of studying and teaching colour. His book Interaction of Color (Yale University Press 1974) puts practice before theory and aims to help the artist develop a sensitivity for colour leading to an awareness of the interdependence of colour with form and shape. To achieve this Albers assembles a collection of exercises which require little but coloured paper and a pair of scissors. What Albers is doing is helping the student artist learn for him or herself about the affect of colour, its sensation; what the eye sees when particular colours and shapes come together.
Such experience can then form the basis of a personal vocabulary or practice that the artist can use within their own artistic vision. One of the devices that influenced Albers was the Colour Triangle or Pyramid devised by the poet Goethe in his Theory of Colour (1827). Albers teased out from this triangle a series of colour relationships that had particular expressive characteristics; he gave these names: Lucid, Serious, Mighty, Serene, Melancholic. These titles describe particular groupings of colour that seem to contain the essence of particular emotional or psychological states. They provide a rich starting point for a musical invention linked to aspects of both colour and and communication.

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