Illuminating & Ultimate Gray

from Cello Noodles, Vol. V by Betsy Tinney

subscriber exclusive


Happy 2021, my dearest supporters! (And good riddance, 2020!)

This piece, Illuminating & Ultimate Gray, is my musical interpretation of the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021: Illuminating (a sunny yellow) and Ultimate Gray (a quiet but substantial gray). (As you might already know, I am synesthetic, so colors have specific sounds & pitches for me.) To be honest, when I first played this piece, I didn't realize I was creating a musical homage to Pantone's 2021 colors. I was simply improvising without an agenda -- with one of my favorite elephants in front of me.

Today, I saw Pantone's announcement of their 2021 Colors of the Year, and while my forebrain was thinking, "Huh… interesting color combination; not sure I like it," my hindbrain was playing the piece I'd just improvised. Even so, I didn't make the connection until I went back to my cello -- and found myself gazing at a gray elephant atop a sunny yellow tapestry. Hello, 2021 Colors-of-the-Year!

According to Pantone's website, Illuminating is a warming yellow shade, suggesting optimism and brighter times ahead, while Ultimate Gray is a deep, quiet, reassuring gray -- the color of wisdom, steadiness and strength. The combination of these two colors grounds us and gives us hope -- both of which are essential to the human spirit.

So, I give you Illuminating & Ultimate Gray -- with musical colors both somber and sunny, with an elephant dancing in the middle, and with a blessing of quiet but steady hope for the new year.

Wishing you all the happiest of new years,

Cover photo description: An Asian elephant is in the foreground, her ears spread, eyeing the camera with calm interest. In the background, the sun is just peeking from behind a nearby hill, throwing a diadem of golden rays across the entire background and the golden-blue sky.


from Cello Noodles, Vol. V, track released December 31, 2020
Music by Betsy Tinney.
Cello & piano: Betsy Tinney

Cover photo © Panom Bounak -


all rights reserved



Betsy Tinney Seattle, Washington

NEW ALBUM on December 4!

Winter Greens: Carols for the Season includes all my previously released cello carols (remixed & mastered), plus a few new ones.

contact / help

Contact Betsy Tinney

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this track or account