Tag Archives: Music->concept synaesthesia

Up then down, up then down……………

Oh, I get it! This cute tune by Calvin Harris is called “Bounce” because it goes up and down and up and down. Makes me want to move too. http://youtu.be/ooZwmeUfuXg

Music with and without a sense of direction

Not often but sometimes I hear a piece of music that stikes my ear as being odd in some way that give rise to the synaesthetic perception that the music is not (as normal) proceeding in a straight pathway forward or from the left of my visual field to my right, but is going backwards for a moment or even going around in a circle. Many popular rock and pop songs strike me as having a very fast and definite forward direction, in the style of a speeding vehicle hurtling along a country road. I’ve found that different versions of Prokofiev’s March number 99 give the effect in my mind of speeding down the highway or taking a slower and winding path.

This slow and interesting version of Prokofiev’s piece at 9.40 minutes into the YouTube clip by Orchestre National de l’Opera de Monte Carlo, Conductor: Louis Fremaux sounds to my synaesthete ear to be at times getting a bit confused and chasing it’s tail:  http://youtu.be/6bH-NMjJvPE

but this fast version of the march speeds along, and I think the speed of this version has crushed the eccentricity of the music and straightened out the direction that it takes:  http://youtu.be/XErZK15QEqw

Slow down Mr Conductor! It’s a concert hall, not a race-track!

Anti-gravity by British India – a rock song with a definite oceanic quality

The sea was a big part of my life in my childhood, and memories of the sea are so deeply etched in my mind that it is a theme that comes up over and over again in my synaesthesia, with is an atypical memory-related variation in brain functioning that develops in the earlier years of childhood, around 5 or 6 years. At that age, all I wanted to do was swim. I experience the well-known types of synesthesia triggered by listening to music – colours, simple visuals, spatial concepts and abstract concepts, and I also experience aspects of the sensory experience of swimming in the ocean when listening to some pieces of music. Anti Gravity from the Avalanche CD by the amazing Aussie band British India is a very evocative song for me, I think because of the way that it surges and crashes, like waves in the sea. I become immersed in the music, I swim in it, and parts of it are most definitely a deep blue-green colour. Be sure to swim between the flags!


Moist music and watery art

When I listen to the bass in this piece of music, the Doo Bop Song by Miles Davis, it evokes a soothing feeling of coolness like swimming (this is for me literally cool jazz). For this reason this CD gets most use at the end of hard and hot summer’s days. This special piece of music also evokes the image and the concept of a body of water that has regular undulations or small waves in it, something like the effect that you might see in one of those many paintings of swimming pools that David Hockney was famous for. The Dutch Symbolist/Impressionist painter Piet Mondrian also created a number of paintings (his “Ocean” paintings) which visually depict the type of regular rhythmic waves that I experience when I listen to this music. David Hockney is a synaesthete, there is some evidence that Mondrian might have also been a synaesthete and I have read that Miles Davis explored the concept of synesthesia in his music. Coincidence?

The Doo Bop Song by Miles Davis


Links to pages with Mondrian paintings in an oceanic theme:


Links to some Hockney pool paintings: