Raewyn Turner, Tony Brooks

Multisensory Spaces

The Four Senses performances with a symphony orchestra were a translation of sound into light, colour, and smell.

Four Senses Performance, collaboration 2002

Four Senses Performance, collaboration 2002


Media Files


The ‘Four Senses’ 1999,2002 concerts were to engage and reframe perception of music and to play with subjective experiences and simulated synesthesia. Each sensory element was constructed from information relating to the other elements. The associations and correspondences of the elements made by the audience was according to their own individual and personal experiences.
The investigations include perception, misinterpretation, fictional translations and the sensory worlds of the blind/deaf: of hearing, of breathing in, and of visualizing music.

The Four Senses 2002 were a collaboration between Raewyn Turner (NZ) and Tony Brooks(UK).
Tony Brooks utilised sensors, software and projectors to create an interactive system capturing movement from the orchestra and translating it into painting with coloured light. In this way the orchestra conductor was able to “paint” the scene through his gestures within an interactive space. Similarly orchestra members, dancers and a special signing choir for the deaf images were blended into the backdrop in real-time such that their velocity of movement affected the color of image generation and collage composition.
Raewyn Turner interpreted the sound to colour and smell using the correspondences that she made between sound/silence and light/dark. The translations involved intuitive drawing, charts, measurements, referral to the seasonal time of harvest of aromatic plants, and an equation which produces a selection of plants from which to choose smell pitch.
The performances were an improvisation and a real - time translation of sound and the gestures of making that sound, into light and colour, and multiple layers of smell. The light collage thus created was a play of interaction between live video feeds and sensors, and coloured light pre-programmed to an interpretation of sound, each affecting the other in a dynamic visual loop.

Artists / Authors



Four Senses 2002, was a collaboration between Raewyn Turner and Tony Brooks


r.turner@clear.net.nz , tonybrooks@soundscapes.dk


Dorothy Winstone Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand

Partners / Sponsors

The 2002 performances, the second series of concerts, were with the Aotea Youth Symphony Orchestra and included mixed ability dance group Touch Compass, a deaf signing choir Hhands and sight impaired vocalist Caitlin Smith. There were tactile cushions and balloons available in the auditorium for those with hearing disability.



"I accompanied five people with varied degrees of deafblindness and their caregivers to the Friday performance of the 'Four Senses" concerts. I was
impressed, moved and delighted at everything that I with my senses intact and unimpaired could experience. More importantly, it was so rewarding to observe how much of the music, lights, smells and movement our disabled friends were able to enjoy in the extraordinary ways your team made
available. At a meeting of parents this week we heard from the caregivers of the gratifying response that their very handicapped charges made to this fantastic sensory experience. Delight was the common reaction, it seems, and also a stillness that they rarely show that indicated they were receiving the stimuli."


Raewyn Turner, Dec 9, 2002



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