color of sound – an introduction

January 18 | 2014

color of sound | design by pxlgirl

the title might sound to you like LSD trip gone wild, but while the effects wear off after a while, some people experience this naturally and continuously. It is called synesthesia, a physiological condition that allows to perceive a stimulative input with at least two senses at the same time. There are many types of synesthesia, the most common one where individuals experience numbers and letters shaded or surrounded by colors. For more information, check out what has to say on this matter, it’s worth looking into. 

now, you might have guessed that since I’m writing on this, that I’m affected in some way. I am indeed, but I wasn’t aware of it for many years. Ever since I can remember, I have always had seen funny colors and shapes whenever hearing sounds. I have assumed that all people experience the same. It took me a while to get why people would give me some weird looks whenever I mentioned it, which meant that they can’t relate to me in any way. My next best explanation was my visual impairment, but I still got some funny reactions on this. Then, a hint from my teacher that I might have a condition called synesthesia and that it’s something rare. That was the moment though, when I decided to keep it to myself, since now I realized how many people have thought that I have lost my mind. It took another amount of years from there, till I was comfortable enough to talk about it again.

many people often ask me, what do the sounds I see actually look like. Being a designer/artist comes handy and I am able to visualize it with the best precision possible. However, before I show some examples, I’d like to clarify a few crucial misconceptions. I noticed that many people see synesthesia as some kind of associative process, where colors are being attached to the expressed emotion in a song or voice. This is never the case. The colors are appearing without any cognitive intervention or association. They just pop out of the blue, if you will, and they move and change according to the sound range. I could attach some emotion to the color afterwards if I wanted to, but it often conflicts with each other. It happened many times, where a supposedly sad song appeared to me in the brightest colors, so I don’t really pay attention to lyrics or how sad or happy the melody is. I do however decide by the colors, whether I like a song /voice/sound or not.

enough words puttygen , time to see some images:

color of sound – an exploration

1 new insight:

  1. 10/7/2014Katie Hawley says:

    Hi! My name is katie, I’m 13 and I have never told anybody about my colors (not even my family members) because I was afraid of being treated differently But I just don’t care anymore so here it goes……. I can smell colors when I get close to people(like when I’m right next to them and I pick up their scent). When I touch people their ‘color’ takes over my sight for about 3 seconds. If I don’t know that person then I don’t know their color so when somebody I don’t know touches me I kind of freak out because that color could belong to anybody. My friends think I’m afraid of human contact because that’s what I told them. I guess I thought I could live that lie without ever feeling bad about it but I do feel bad about it. So I hope my friends do read this! There are a couple of reasons I’ve never told people about my colors and that’s because 1: I’m afraid they’ll think I’m a freak, 2:They might bug me about what color they are, 3:They’d think I’m lying and 4:They might be hurt that I kept this from them. I’m willing to take all of those risks now because quite frankly I stopped giving a shit about what other people think of me a long time ago. I guess I’m telling you this so I don’t feel so alone.

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