Scriabin's Symbolism

Prometheus: The Poem of Fire is a tone poem written by the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin in 1910. A tone poem is a piece of music that is inspired by a particular poem, story, or painting. Tone poems are played by orchestras. The Poem of Fire uses a full orchestra, but it also features an impressive piano part! 

Scriabin (pronounced Skree-aw-bin) was very interested in synesthesia, a condition that causes people to see colors when they hear sounds. As you listen to this piece of music, notice how the lights in the concert hall change color. Scriabin actually wrote instructions in the music for which colors to show during the performance of this piece! 

Watch the whole video (produced by Yale University) if you'd like to learn more about adding colorful lights to The Poem of Fire, or you can skip ahead to 9:26 to just watch the performance.