Thursday, December 19, 2013

Published 11:23 PM by with 7 comments

This Moment: Hearing Light and Watching It Blaze, and December Projects Day #19

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!

Hearing Light and Watching It Blaze

Prompt for day #19: shine a light!

As a synesthete, music for me is an experience of sound and sight and feel. Melodies sing in my ears, causing a mental light show in my mind's eye, where colors, shapes, and images swirl. If the music is intense enough, then I not only see and hear the sound, but feel the impact of the notes in my body. It is such a strong, involuntary reaction that there are certain music genres and songs that I can't listen to while driving or interacting with people; my brain can literally be overwhelmed with music, making it impossible to focus on anything else.

The beautiful light fixtures in the photo taken today reminded me of the first few notes in the beginning of this song by Explosions in the Sky. The single globes of sound hang, glowing, in the air. Then the slow melody begins, flooding my vision with color.

Synesthesia is a strange thing. I didn't find out that I had this neurological condition until my freshman year of college. Before then, I assumed that everyone could "see" music, that everyone's alphabet had colored letters, that everyone associated people with specific colors based on their personality. It took days to accept the fact that this wasn't true. 

Only one of my students has synesthesia too. In his guitar lesson, we talked about learning to follow the deep red of the bass melody instead of letting the bright green of the high triads overwhelm it. We are always asking each other what we see and hear in the music.

Over the years, I've learned to live with synesthesia. During the past few years it has even faded a little, whether due to the exhaustion of being a parent or just getting older, I'm not sure. It can look exciting and fun on the outside. Sometimes it is. But sometimes, when I realize the association between lovely hanging lights and the beginning notes of a post-rock instrumental, and there's nobody around to share this exciting revelation with who wouldn't think I'm crazy, then it feels a little lonely. 



Shel said...

What neat lights!

Our moment is a sweet one of decorating cookies with friends!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Jessica said...

These are great lights!

Here is me with my Nutcracker dates

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hannah White said...

I have never hear of your condition. Interesting, but it might be overwhelming at times. Wising you and your loved ones a wohnderful holiday season!

Kim Corrigan-Oliver said...

Those lights are amazing!

Thanks for sharing about the synesthesia, I was at first thinking how cool this would be, but I guess you are right in that not having anyone to experience it with, to share it with, would be rather lonely.

Wish I could share it with you :)

Carie said...

Those lights are gorgeous. Synesthesia sounds like such an amazing way to experience music, although I can see it could get frustrating.

Emily said...

Great lights!

mountain girl said...

That's fascinating the way you see colors in an associative type of way. I imagine it can be hard knowing how few other people see the way you do--but it must be so satisfying to find a person now and then who does.