War, a family and the Play transcendent power of music

“Music is a mirror of life’s experience. I can express myself and say the thing you can not say in words.”

Concert pianist Dang Thai Son


Ever since photography’s invention, images and music have made perfect partners. Before “talkies,” music was composed for early films and performed live. Please help us put a new twist on this pairing with mobile technology. In real time, we’ll marry your original images to a phenomenal performance of a classical music masterpiece. This piece inspired Thai Thi Lien and her young son, Dang Thai Son, as they struggled to survive the bombings and study piano during the Vietnam War. Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, No. 1 is a work of exceptional emotional depth. Over a hundred years after it was written to evoke Poland’s wartime troubles, this music arouses intense feelings. We invite you to respond to this performance by Dang Thai Son and put your own inspirations to work with this powerful music.

Explore how sound influences sight

What we ask of you for the Instagram interactive: In this Instagram interactive, we will choreograph your photographs to Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1. This performance, by Dang Thai Son, is the inspiration for your photography. Please listen to it and then take a photograph (or several) that expresses your emotions. Submit your original photos to Instagram using the hashtag #cannonandflower. What it will look and sound like: Here’s a sampling of the Instagram interactive - at the end, you can hear an audio commentary on the piece by Dang Thai Son.


The Cannon and the Flower

The Music Visualization: Feel it

This interactive represents a color and word cloud visualization of Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1, known for its emotional expression. Research suggests that humans share a common emotional palette for music and color that appears to be intuitive and can crosses cultures. In other words, we are hard-wired to associate specific colors with music. We’d like you to listen to the piece and select a feeling that best describes what the music evokes in you. What it looks and sounds like: Here’s a visualization of the emotions expressed as the piece progresses. You can also choose to listen to Dang Thai Son’s comments on each of the piece’s three segments.


Thank you for participating in this exciting collaborative work reaching around the world.

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