If Only You Could See the Pianos
Much has been written about the odd brain phenomenon known as synesthesia; more so in the recent years, due to its becoming more widely accepted and recognized by science. For those of you still unfamiliar with it, it is basically a peculiar anomaly of the human brain that forces two or more senses to be “combined” in some manner or another… thereby creating odd alterations of experience such as “tasting” colors and shapes or “seeing” music as colors, textures and patterns in the mind when it is played. Since as far back as I can remember, I have been afflicted with the latter kind.
As an artist or writer of any sort, it is often quite frustrating to visualize and conceive things that don’t always fare as well on paper or in some other tangible form of art… the plight of the synesthete is certainly no exception. Electronic music, especially – while often appearing as dissonant and repetitious noise to the untrained ear – is particularly appealing to me, because instead of mentally picturing people playing instruments I visualize perpetual, rhythmic patterns of texture and color. Distorted sounds are serrated, metallic or even a bit “fuzzy”, while strings and pads in the background have a murky, auroral effect that smoothly fades in and out of view. Even reverberation and echoes leave some kind of visual imprint on my imagination, every sound perfectly replicated into some kind of shape, texture or ghostly after-image.
I have yet to master the computer knowledge required to reproduce some of my own synesthetic music that I often imagine to myself, for the mind – anyone’s mind, for that matter – is capable of producing more dynamic and detailed sounds and images than even technology can readily imitate. If only I could show you what piano sounds “look” like… sharp, tinkling suggestions of crystal, glinting like falling, angular rain in shades of eerie, pinkish-red sunset. Perhaps a future excursion into audio-visual production work is in order… that might do the trick, although even then it would be nothing more than a crude interpretation of something ineffable only the mind can create.