Sarabet – Mary Hallock Greenewalt

Sarabet is the name of the light instrument created by Mary Hallock-Greenwalt around 1920. She believed that manipulating light was an artform for itselft and named it NOURATHAR (from the Arabic “light”+influence of), and that it could be used to express human emotions and augment the expressivity of music or dance performance. A sliding rheostat controlled the reflection of seven coloured lights onto a monochromatic background.

Sources : Wright, Maurice (2011). “NOURATHAR: An early 20th century color organ”
Peacock, Kenneth (2001). “Instruments to Perform Color-Music:Two Centuries of Technological Experimentation”
more info: “Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt and the Sarabet” at History Society of Pennsylvania

Mary Hallock-Greenewalt at the console of her Sarabet (1919).





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