Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Rainbow of Sound


I love tuning into “From the Top” on Sunday evenings. It’s a program hosted by Christopher O’Riley which features mostly teen-age performers. They are typically phenomenal.

But in addition to performing, the guests are interviewed, often revealing extremely interesting and complex lives.

On Sunday night, a Chinese girl of 17 from New York City played a brilliant piano piece by a little known Czech composer. Then in her interview, she acknowledged that she experiences synesthesia, a condition which causes her to associate colors with various musical sounds. She first remarked about it at the age of 4 when she described to her mother the colors she was hearing.

Some synesthetes say that their special “gift” actually interferes with their ability to listen to music, but for others it’s simply an enhancement.

I started wondering how my colors would be assigned if I was so sensually connected!

9 Comments:

Blogger tut-tut said...

We were actually lucky enough to attend a From the Top show here where we live. I can assure you, it is well worth seeing it live!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Tut-tut -- What a treat! I hope to be able to sit in the audience some day.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

It was really interesting to read about synesthesia on that link. That must be what I have, or some form of it, but I never knew it had a name - I just thought I had an overactive imagination or something. It happens all the time when I listen to instrumental music, not things with words, and fortunately it doesn't seem to happen when I'm playing, because that would be really distracting! I can usually make it stop, but often it adds to the entertainment of what I'm listening to. I mostly see swirling blobs of color, but sometimes it turns into actual cartoons. It also happens right before I fall asleep. I don't have to count sheep because they're already leaping around the second I close my eyes. But sometime they are frogs, and sometimes it's just a kaleidoscope effect. Weird, huh?

12:24 AM  
Blogger Fire Byrd said...

I suppose it must be along the lines of seeing people's auras.
The colour around you shows how you are emotionally at any one moment. I have a friend who does Reiki on me and sees my colours change as I relax.
Another friend did reiki on me when I was turning the corner on illness and saw me surrounded by angels.
I don't get to see anything, I just 'know' how people are feeling before they tell me.
xx

3:09 AM  
Blogger Fire Byrd said...

I suppose it must be along the lines of seeing people's auras.
The colour around you shows how you are emotionally at any one moment. I have a friend who does Reiki on me and sees my colours change as I relax.
Another friend did reiki on me when I was turning the corner on illness and saw me surrounded by angels.
I don't get to see anything, I just 'know' how people are feeling before they tell me.
xx

3:09 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I wish I could hear colors! Classical music has always created images in my mind, mostly pastoral. On Sunday mornings when I was a child, my sisters and I used to sit near the radio and listen to the music while I told them what I was seeing. It was a short step from that to writing it all down in essays.

6:32 AM  
Blogger karen said...

lovely! i often experience something similar to Cyndy, i think - just in a much much milder form... it's usually just before falling asleep, and then any slightly loud sound transforms visually into that kaleidescope effect .. most intriguing, but never thought much of it other than it's a bit bizarre! healing with colours also interests me..

8:40 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

LSD does the same thing...
Hi Barb!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I love all of your own synesthetic gifts: Cyndy and Karen's sense of colors, Fire Byrd's auras, Pauline's pastoral images (much like my own when I hear classical music). And some have experienced a true psychedelic set of colors and sounds (Bulletholes)!

12:08 PM  

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