Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Synesthesia and other sensitivities - friend or foe?

I'd say my synesthesia is mild, if it is in fact diagnosable. Fmaj7 chords are pink, Dbmaj7 chords are yellow. And then I experience a lot of undelineated but nonetheless evocative associations, such as those mentioned in my last post. I have never heard a tone associated with an oven of any color. ; ^ } One thing I like about synesthesia, is that it is considered mental illness by some, and a special and desirable attribute by others. Aha and behold! The well-documented and seldom understood tormented artist! Here's a relevant quote, not from a jazz composer: "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -J. Krishnamurti
I think this does relate very strongly to the sensitivity of composers and other creating musicians. I believe the often short lifespan of the truly creative is directly related to the difficulty of living in the ongoing workaday insanity of earthlings, whilst living in an exquisitely sensitive and thoughtful mind.

1 comment:

  1. A bit more on Sibelius - "A recent, personal visit to the country home of Sibelius, near Helsinki, disclosed that the famous composer would hear in his head the sound F major when he looked at his green fireplace, D major when looking at an adjacent, dominantly yellow picture and A major when he saw a blue object (coloured-hearing synaesthesia)."

    Liszt, Rimsky Korsakov, Messiaen, and Amy Beach all experienced this phenomenon.

    Here's an interesting chart on this: