January 01, 2003

January and February in Russian History


january 1

The avant-garde painter and inventor of color music, Vladimir Baranov-Rossine (real name: Shulim Wolf Baranov), was born on this day (December 20, 1887, old style). In his color music, inspired by symbolic artists and by the composer Alexander Skryabin, Rossine attempted to blend color and sound. He constructed an optophonic piano—an instrument whose keys produced sound and projected corresponding rays of light through filters which Rossine had painted. First shown to the public in 1916, it was just one aspect of this prolific artist’s work. Baranov left Russia with his family in 1925. His life ended tragically in January 1944, in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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