Louis Bertrand Castel
1688 – 1757

Jesuit monk Louis Bertrand Castel is a pioneer of the color organ, having created his clavecin oculaire in 1734. Castel considered himself a philosopher, though he was well-known as a mathematician. He penned two essays, the first in 1725, the second a decade later, regarding the creation of a “harpsichord for eyes.” Castel had studied the mid-seventeenth-century magic-lantern designs of German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher and wrote about transposing the pleasures of music from the ears to the eyes. In …

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