LE SON DES COULEURS - A stylish Ambient Music project dedicated to the exploration and elaboration of the phenomenon of colour-sound synesthesia and association. 

“If red were a piece of music – 

what would it sound like?“ 

by Benigno-Isagani del Rio

A compelling fusion of colour impressions and a listening experience into a single encompassing sensory epiphany – this spark of inspiration moved the Duesseldorf composer of electronic music Thomas Kessler (*1962) and the Cologne saxophonist Bernd Winterschladen (*1960) to join forces in their latest musical endeavour. 

The resulting evocative compositions – ten sound collages in all – each take up and intepret a shade of colour from “Les claviers de couleurs” – the ‘colour keyboards’ of the visionary French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965). These intriguingly embody his unique theory regarding colours and their singular effect upon the human psyche.

‘Le son des couleurs’ is a suite of ten pieces, each depicting and interpreting a specific tone colour, each piece lasting six times sixty seconds and resulting in precisely one hour (3,600 seconds) of music. RGB refers to the RGB colour model involving the additive combination of red, green and blue light, the so-called three additive primary colours, to generate any desired hue for the detection, representation and display of images in electronic systems. 

The pertinent source code is _3.6kSec RGB, taken here for the project name which is illustrative of the concept behind the artistic venture: multimedia performances uniting music with light and video art, in addition to architecture and modern dance.

‘Le son des couleurs’ operates along the stylistic frontier between contemporary jazz and modern art music. A manifestly dexterous interplay between the antithetical extremes of intimate proximity and unbounded vastness pervades the pieces. The prevalent use of hushed tones delicately fathoms the depths of the dynamic range of sound up to the very threshold of silence. 

In this context, Winterschladen’s saxophone plays the role of the vox humana, personifying the wanderer of flesh and blood against the backdrop of the abstract expanse of Kessler’s soundscapes, where sumptuous atmospherics evince flights of visual imagination. 111

Bernd Winterschladen / tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet

Thomas Kessler / atmospherics, loops, treatments


Bleu ceruleum

Rouge vif

Terre de sienne claire



photo: © Emil Zander, Duesseldorf

Gris clair


Terre d’ombre

Bleu outremer

Bleu foncé

Gris foncé

Jaune vif

Hamburger Architektur Sommer 2015

Freie Akademie der Künste

photo © Nicole Heptner |



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