Thursday, 9/8/11

by musicclipoftheday

hearing colors, seeing sounds

John Coltrane, “Giant Steps,” excerpt (Giant Steps, Atlantic, 1970)
Animation by Michal Levy (2001)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Yo, Michael: Thanks for the tip!)



Synesthesia is a rare neurological condition that leads stimulation in one sensory pathway to trigger an experience in another. Basically, a short-circuiting in the brain that enables such strange phenomena like perceiving letters and numbers as inherently colored (color-graphemic synesthesia) or hearing sounds in response to visual motion. More than 60 types of synesthesia have been identified, with one of the most common being the cross-sensory experience of color and sound — “hearing” color or “seeing” music.

Israeli artist and jazz musician Michal Levy . . .  is an actual synesthetic: When she listens to music, she sees shapes and colors as different tones, pitches, frequencies, harmonies, and other elements of the melody unfold.

Maria Popova