Perpendicular yellow. Off to the side.
My secondary school colour wheels always looked shit; and it was always the purples and yellows that came off worst. I seem to remember them as all being big smudges of red and green. They obviously can’t have been, but that’s what I remember. Weird.
Anyway, we’ve got complemntary colours here. Purple and yellow. So what complements frustration?
If it was a simple opposite, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem, frustration versus satisfaction right?
But then you start wondering, is it that simple?
I always wonder whether opposites should be the antithesis, or just the absence.
The opposite of light is dark, right? But it isn’t. Dark is the absence of light. The opposite should be something that somehow cancels out light? Anti-Light? Like in a black hole maybe. Which makes the opposite of light… density?
Funnily enough, that’s kind of correct, but only because it makes it sound like the other definition of light.
Is satisfaction merely the absence of frustration? Or is it something that directly challenges and opposes it?
Actually, I think it’s something different. It relies on frustration. The ending of frustration is satisfying. No matter what the frustration.
I’m reminded of a few noise music tracks, or particularly the ending of a less noisy Jim O’Rourke album, where the bouncy indie pop suddenly grows into monstrous cacophony for the finale. It’s loud, it’s over the top, it’s apparently unpleasant for most people. But the feeling of relaxation at the end is wonderful.
I once had an argument with someone about whether this meant the music was good. I maintain that the music is still incredible in it’s self. And the sudden release of the silence at the end is just a final flourish. A final statement about the importance of silence and relaxation and endings.
But the frustration of having your ears bent a little out of shape, stretched and challenged, that’s all part of the beauty of it. I adore it.
And the silence wouldn’t be so special without it.
So there is a complementariness to these (pseudo?) opposites.
And even Miranda July talking about saving the yellow until last when colouring in as a child, so that the magic would all happen last minute.
The evidence all seems to stack up a certain way.
But fuck that.
Purple isn’t frustration. Purple is purple.
Yellow isn’t satisfaction. Yellow is yellow.
You want to talk about the meaning of colours? Look here, and imagine if it stretched to individuals.
I don’t want colours to mean anything. I want colours to be colourful. I want to just be able to marvel at the beauty of a wondrous composition, experience the feeling, but not the meaning.
I love colour, music and light, because they aren’t words. They escape defintion. Transcend semiotics.
At least for a while. Until we start talking about it.
But for a while. There’s magic there.
For a while, at least.
Illustration by Maria.