Richard Bourne invented 'Canvas Music', a pioneering system of painting any song ever written whereby every painting will be unique. However it goes further than that as Richard can now write completely new songs from colour formations and in addition produce leftfield remixes from the paintings. Below is a broader description.

This is a 4 metre long painting of the song 'The Rhythm Divine' - a collaboration between the Swiss artist Yello, Welsh songstress Shirley Bassey and former Associates lead singer Billy Mackenzie that took over 4 months to create from initial conception to the finished canvas.

Explaining Canvas Music

In around 2010, Richard Bourne created a new art concept called 'Canvas Music. 'Canvas Music cross fertilises Bourne's two foremost loves, namely Art and Music and fashions a stupefying hybrid of devices and codes to paint songs on canvas in colour form. Bourne has worked as a professional in the music industry for over 35 years (under the name Richard Rogers) with millions of sales as an A&R man (Warners/BBC/IMN), artist manager (Mick Karn of Japan, Bill Pritchard), songwriter and producer and as an International Art Biennale award winner in the art business for 20 years. Working professionally in both areas Bourne's work is exclusive in that he is one of the few people in the world able to establish and create a pioneering system of painting music through extensive knowledge and understanding of both areas in a professional capacity. Working within a fascinating array of colours, textures and styles intermeshed with mathematical ideas to interpret notational music into a colour language using various formulas to create one system. This gives the possibility of allowing every song ever written to be transformed into an individual painting or simply put - as 'Canvas Music. Whether this is a concerto by Mozart, a song by Abba or an 8 bar song you made up and sang as a child. Every song in the world can be painted and every painting would be unique. The idea of 'Canvas Music' involves 6 mathematical formulas and 3 further independent painting techniques to construct each individual painting and the concept of 'Canvas Music' has taken almost 10 years to assemble the correct formulas from countless permutations of colour, styles and mathematical thought processes.

It's foundation centred as an idea inspired by a conversation in the village of Vordemwald in Switzerland, the understanding of the mathematical constant of Pi and Leonardo da Vinci's perceptions of the link between music, mathematics and the universe. Later ideas involving synesthesia whereby some people see music as colour were also added to this distinctive concept. This was due in part to a conversation Bourne had with the famous musician and singer Emile Ford in Suffolk around 1996. Emile worked on Pink Floyd's 'Division Bell' in the capacity of advisor and consultant in relation to synesthesia. Fascinatingly for Bourne's studies/formulas he found that the artist David Hockney also has synesthesia as do/did Stevie Wonder, Vincent Van Gogh, Tori Amos, Kanye West, Billy Joel, Leonard Bernstein, Pharrell Williams, Franz Liszt, Duke Ellington and Eddie Van Halen among many creative talents. It is widely purported that Kate Bush, Wassily Kandinsky, Jimi Hendrix and Syd Barrett also have had synesthesia.

Next it was imperitive for Bourne to thoroughly understand music notation and he was taught extensively by one of the world's predominant music transcribers' Peter Wilson. Richard then studied the top 250 selling songs of all time by a complex system of dismantling each individual song part by part, scrutinising them and then reassembling each one and Richard discovered that certain systems and structures were developed by some professional songwriters with a direct correlation to the way that major pieces of art in the art world were also developed. He also determined that early religious music notation had an important role to play by incorporating some of these systems. These systems use a series of mathematical formulas that when reproduced as 'Canvas Music generate songs or pieces of music as visual pieces rather than aural pieces.

Writing New Songs from 'Canvas Music'

Having already invented 'Canvas Music' as interpretations of music as colour formations on canvas, Bourne attempted to turn the whole idea on its head and proposed writing songs from the colour formations on the canvases. This he initially did by taking a number of his own songs as a songwriter, allocating a particular interpretation in colour to each from his 'Canvas Music' system and then reinterpreting these pieces a second time and changing them back into new sound pieces. Amazingly this worked to such an extent that the first song to be used in this manner became a top 10 hit in collaboration with another idea under the name of The Chuggability Theory' that Richard had devised whilst lecturing on the Music Industry at both the University of West London and the London Institute of Music. In 2014 Richard approached the music artist Karel Fialka famous for his 'Hey Matthew' hit and Karel was particularly impressed with the 'Canvas Music' idea and allowed Richard to collaborate on his new album 'Peace v War' as both writer and producer of the new songs interpreted from colour formations. This album was released in January 2016. In addition Richard had worked in 2013 on a number of his own works interpreting from sound to colour and then back into aural pieces and these were produced for Bourne's own band Racecar.

If any other artists are interested in this new ground breaking idea of writing new songs from colour then please get in touch.

Creating Remixes of Songs from 'Canvas Music' Soundboards

Now thoroughly confident of both the idea of 'Canvas Music' as paintings as well as the reinterpretation of sound from colour to introduce new songs that could become hits Bourne decided for an off the wall approach to produce remixes. He introduced a format for painting new pieces of work using 'aural soundboards' to enable him to cross pollate areas of space on a canvas using shortened color formations and at the same time produce bizarre avante garde remixes of the original works of music artists.

Bourne exhibited Canvas Music' in 2015 at the Ministry Halls in Victoria. Commissioned pieces are available on this concept. Contact us at or through Richard's European Art Representative Dorina Ceteras at

"Canvas Music' copyright owned by Richard Bourne Art/Silverscope 2009-2022.