Visual Elements in Music

6 Experiments with Light

Just like color, light continues to fascinate composers and musicians alike. There are numerous works inspired by apparitions and impressions of light, even if they do not contain any actual visual component. Experiments with the use of light following Scriabin’s tradition are rare. In 1990, the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, for example, wrote the piece Alleluja for a choir, boy’s solo, organ, orchestra, and color piano ad libitum. Here, she did not want to use colors in analogy to tones, they were to provide a rhythm.[13] Wolfgang Rihm and Georg Friedrich Haas also worked with light as a rhythmical element. Whereas the former only integrated Das Licht as an autonomous part in one passage of his opera Die Eroberung von Mexico,[14] the latter made an important step forward in his concert for light and orchestra titled Hyperion: he assigned the part of a virtuoso solo instrument to the light medium, which also acts as control element for the musicians of the orchestra and replaces the conductor during performances.

This work by the German composer was created during the years 1987–1991.