Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Synesthesia: what music looks like

A music doodle

back of old envelope

Today is a stay-in and muddle about day-- snow and gusty winds and tending the woodstove. A painting taken off the easel, a pot of soup on the cookstove, some time at the computer.

I subscribe to the Research Channel. Today I checked out a recent post with this link about Synesthesia. I found it fascinating. It presents a possible mechanism for synesthesia in lay terms, and then goes on to say that it is not an abberation, but likely a normal part of human experience. It seems that the crossover of sensory experience may be an important componant of creativity of all sorts (art being only one way of expressing creativity). And it may be that all people have it in some form, just not ways that are readily recognized. I recommend watching it. If you do, be sure to wait for the poem at the very end. It is beautiful.

ResearchChannel - Red Mondays and Gemstone JalapeƱos: The Synesthetic World

I am a synesthete, but I didn't know that's what it is until well into adulthood. It just seemed normal for me. My recollection is that quite a few people in my family had this kind of multiple sensory perception, though not all (which explains some of the peculiar conversations about music). Then at some point, I read or heard about people who "heard" colors, and that the word for that sort of thing is "synesthesia". Mine involves sounds and a feeling of movement: shapes with colors dancing. At times over the years I've found that lots of people who experience crossovers of senses, not like mine, but juxtapositions of various sorts.

The music being played during part of this video captured me. I'd love to find it and paint it! Unable to resist trying to capture some of the color dance in my head, I grabbed a pen and drew the scribble above on the back of an old envelope (what else?). I was just getting to the melodic overlays when the music ended.