The Audible Colors project is an experiment that creates sound based on colors picked up by your computer's webcam. If you are thinking this sounds like a cakewalk, think again; there are many variables that could change how an audio-visual instrument works.
First you need to understand the mechanics. Color detection and sound generation are created and controlled using processing code. The resulting "audible color" is based on a marriage between color and music theories.
The basic colors of red, blue and green form the foundation for color mixing and correspond to the musical notes A, D and F. Secondary colors made from mixing any of the foundational colors are purple, teal and brown; these colors correspond to C, E and G notes — in other words any mixing of the original colors will result in the audio output of these secondary notes.
Got it so far? Besides the colors and corresponding notes, there are several other variables that a user can play with. For example, the size of the colors influences the volume and frequency of the notes played.
Creators Matsui & Miyazaki also note the other myriad possibilities. While the experiment in the video focuses on colored water droplets, the tests were not limited to water and can be used with any one of a number of common substances from soap to acrylic paints.
The idea that it can work with acrylic paints opens up the possibility that one day we could walk through a museum and hear what a painting looks like in addition to simply seeing it. That's a pretty mind blowing thought — would a painting's sound evoke the same feelings as the visual?
Where this project will go is too soon to tell, but in the short term the experiments sure look like fun and are a great way to challenge how we look at the world.