Friday, June 15, 2007

The Color of Sound

So I'm thinking about synesthesia today. Actually, I started thinking about it last night, but that's not the point.

Synesthesia, as Wikipedia defines it, is two bodily senses combining, like sound and sight to make music have color. Or sight and taste, so that words and letters have flavors. Or even better, the personification of letters. If you read the Wiki, you'll see quotes about not being able to trust the number 3, or how Ts are "crabbed and ungenerous".

Supposedly this is more common than people think. Meaning, it's not something that one in a million people have. Wiki (which is not always right, I know) says it's more like one in 23.

And of course I'm going to oversimplify it by saying how fascinating I think it is. To see color when hearing music? How much more interesting (and distracting, yes) would that make the world?

What if the world were reversed and people who *didn't* do such things were the one in 23? Imagine a person who lacked the ability to smell sounds or color by music in a world where that was the norm.

...and they wonder where writers get their ideas.


Lynne Simpson said...

For me, most music doesn't have color, but there are a few pieces that push my brain to that point or very close.

Ericka Scott said...

I've often wished that I was "different" in some way. . .but then, since I don't know how other people hear and see (and taste) things. . .maybe I am.

Geez. . . now I'm going to think about that all day!

Catie said...

...what a great story basis. O.O

Sara Dennis said...

Lynne, I was trying to see if I did things like that, associating color with sound. Of course it's hard to do when trying not to do it because you're thinking about it...

Hee, it's fascinating, huh, Ericka?

I thought so, Catie!

Sara Lindsey said...

I have an article on synaesthesia that I've saved for years because I found it so fascinating. They think that Kandinsky probably had it, and several other artists as well. I'd love to write a character with synaesthesia or eidetic memory - the research would be so interesting!

Maggie Robinson said...

All I know is that when I get my hair done and I have to take my glasses off, I can no longer hear. What's the name for that? :)

Sara Dennis said...

I think it'd be cool too, Sara. If you write it, let me know!

Maggie, I have the same problem. I think the blinder we get, the more we rely on other senses. Only, we're not trained to do it. Go figure. Hence, deafness.