Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30pm
On Twilight Arc

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

A lecture by Jenny Perlin

It's an ancient dream to create a device that can translate music into light, light into sound, color into tone, finding, in the process, a key to the harmonies of the universe.

The earliest recorded attempt to build a color organ was in the 18th century. The mathematician and Jesuit priest Louis Bertrand Castel worked for more than 30 years on his ocular harpsichord, only occasionally bringing it into public view. Using colored glass, pulleys, and candles, Castel's labor to produce a fully realized light organ frustrated him endlessly. While the idea was highly influential, the actual organ never caught on.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries many artists and inventors created color organs, using them to try and visualize their complex ideas of color-sound synthesis. Once electricity got into the mix, things really got going.

On Twilight Arc tells a story that connects color organ inventors’ dreams of an instrument that could speak to the angels, 1970s film preservation techniques, Alexander Scriabin’s mystical fervor to write music to invoke the apocalypse, the lost art of the tinkerer, Tarkovsky’s masterpiece Andrei Rublev, and Francois Truffaut’s unrequited love for Richard Dreyfus in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

- JP

Preceded by:

The Dot and the Line, Chuck Jones, 1965, 10 mins

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.