What if, instead of just putting paint on a canvas, you could hear its colors?
Thanks to musician Camry Ivory, you can now generate music by painting with her invention, the Coloratura, which she calls a "system of musical paintbrushes."
Ivory started designing the Coloratura in 2015 as a one-time performance piece for downtown Kansas City’s Art in the Loop Series, reports KCUR-FM. Since then, she’s been improving the instrument as a way to literally create sound with paint.
Featuring an easel with a metal canvas, 12 brushes for each note and pots of paint, the Coloratura connects each brush using wires to a circuit board, which sends a signal to her computer and music production software to create different notes.
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Having been inspired by the piano since she was a little girl, Ivory wanted something more dimensional to express herself. As a singer-songwriter and composer in her adult life, she sought out how to communicate her visual elements both visually and sonically, tinkering with creating a completely new instrument.
The Coloratura is now funded by an Inspiration Grant from ArtsKC in hopes to make a positive impact on the local Kansas City community. And Ivory has already seen the impact it has had on many people, especially those with synesthesia, a condition where a stimulation of one sense, such as sight, can produce a sensation within another, like sound.
Additionally, through her own use of Coloratura, Ivory says she recognizes the therapeutic benefits of mixing the mediums of music, art and technology.
“I really get into a meditative flow, and I stop thinking about everything else,” Ivory told KCUR-FM. “I’m just in this kind of Zen state of creation, and I really can't think about anything else because I'm getting this multi-sensory explosion of color and sound.”
Want to see the Coloratura in action? Ivory has been demonstrating it around her local community surrounding Kansas City at maker fairs and pop-up events. You can find out more here.