Friday, 20 June 2008

I wish I was

ACEO Colored Sands #9,
Watercolour on Paper

... a synesthesist.

To hear colour, or to taste words. But above all I would love to see music in colour. Wouldn't that be great?

Not about translating, transferring or changing state from one sensation to another, instead they are the same. They don't exist without the other... Hm, thinking about it, I am not sure if I cared enough about tasting words or sounds - too much bad taste.

But the music/colour assemblage would be fabulous.

Have a look at Philip Schreibman's Gallery to see (hear?) what I mean:

Or, similarly, the Belgian Synesthesia Association on Art and Synesthesia

And then I wonder: how would I know if I were? How do I know what it is that I experience?


daviddrawsandpaints said...

So I've been a synesthesist all along and I just thought it was the vino talking!

When I painted this:

I definitely had Delius' La Mer in mind.

ps: I wondered if you had received Lorraines Moley yet?

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Debussy, not Delius, of course!

my croft said...

I have a friend with synaesthesia (and her daughter has it as well). It seems that living with it is not as entrancing as it sounds. My friend is an artist and has the words-to-colors form and there's always some form of translating going on between what she initially sees and understands and what she "knows" it to be for other people. Her daughter has the sight-to-taste form and as a consequence is a "very picky eater" (according to my friend). I think this would be exhausting.

I think it would be lovely if you could control it -- turn it on and off, or choose the parameters of the kinds of perceptual associations you will have, but that's not how it works. (Every time her daughter looks at mashed piotatoes she automatically tastes gritty dirty socks, for example. Not so glamorous, that.)

Yellow said...

My younger sister has been giving me classical CD's as gifts, which I listen to as I paint. She's a musician by trade (as well as a mathematician) and after raving on about what I liked she pinned me down as a 'romanticist' because their music paints pictures in the mind. She was spot on.

Gesa said...

Thanks everyone.

David - yes, I suppose it is. Got a notification to pick something up but not got round to it yet, will do so early next week.

Hm, yes: I suspected something along the mixed blessings. And, my croft, what you write about the taste synethesia just confirms my doubts. The translation one is an interesting one: yes, how do you communicate to yourself and to others what you experience. It's similar to other experiences, e.g. what colour is red?

So, in some sense - there's probably always something going on what Steph and David describe: the pictures in mind when listening.

I've been having funny visual metaphors, pictures, almost cartoon-like in front of me when I talk about various things. It's fairly recent that I started noticing them; always thought it's something to do with getting into painting and some new wiring whizzing across my brain and myself as a consequence. They are actually quite entertaining, if sometimes very clicheed.