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Van Gogh Variations: Compositions for small Motors and Robots

Opera, 2014
82 pages, 20,5 cm x 25,5 cm, 500g, 2014

Music notations were written by robots on pentagram paper




Conceptual composition about the seven sunflowers paintings from Vincent Van Gogh and fragments of his life.
Most of the music notations were written by robots on pentagram paper.


The Partiture Book has 82 pages, 20,5 cm x 25,5 cm in size and 500g weight.

The composition is divided in 8 parts:

. Das Gelb in der Ferne. Larghissimo

(The yellow in the distance)

. Ich sehe Zeichnungen. Andante

(I see drawings)

. Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme Duett. Appassionato

(Charles Bargue und Jean-Léon Gérôme Duet)


04. Arie der Besucher. Agitato

(Aria of the visitor)

. Vincent Monolog. Pesante

(Vincent monologue)


06. Abschied von Arles. Lacrimoso

(Farewell to Arles)

. Todesmotiv. Lento

(Death motif)

. Finalterzett. Trionfante

(Final trio)



Software: Photoshop, Audacity, Supercollider and Virtual Synthesizer ANS
Hardware: small motors and domestic DIY robots



The idea of this project was to translate the Van Gogh´ sunflowers paintings to music notations.
I am interested in a dialoque between the methods of music with the methods of drawings using
a wide range of tools like building domestic robots with attached pencils, or digital tablets,
or transforming -through algorithms- images files into sound files.


To develop the notations I have attached 6 pencils to vibrator-robots and painted with digital
brushes in Photoshop on the staffs.
The images from the seven sunflowers were algorithmic transformed into sound files- and then –
transformed back into images files in order to produce errors.
The glitches (errors) were used as backgrounds of the partiture sheets.
The final partiture was scanned by a virtual synthesizer ANS  or sonogram software that translates
images to sounds.


A book partiture emerged alongside the paintings and the key moments in the life of Vincent:

 His perception of the yellow colour 
 Drawings that structured his paintings´ vision 
 His “learn to draw” book from Charles Bargue, etc 
 The visit of Paul Gauguin that motivated the production of the sunflowers paintings in his guest room. 
 The description of his inner life 
 “The thing has already taken form in my mind before I start it”-He said 
 Suicide or not suicide, that is the question 
 His Heritage.