ARE THERE ANY SYNESTHETES HERE On the Hub? Your input is welcome!
There are various types of synesthesia. What's yours?
Wonder if there's anyone here who sees the shape of a touch or can taste spoken words.
I'm not kidding--some synees can taste audible words.
I probably shouldn't answer here, because I don't have it - and I know that for sure. (but since there aren't yet replies here...) Still, I have this thing where it seems as if I can feel a certain a shade of light blue. Many times I've just kind of felt light blue and kept thinking it was a coincidence. I've joked to people that I "feel light blue", and none of us (myself included) take it seriously. Still, there are just those times, all varying in circumstances.
Then, several years ago, I bought a big bunch of summer shirts, all the same shirt and fabric but in different colors. If I had a bag of laundry I could always pull out the light blue one, because it was kind of "disturbing" in some weird and very subtle way. Light blue is not one of my favorite colors at all, but I wouldn't have bought a shirt in that shade if I didn't think it was at least acceptable. I can't wear it, though, because it "makes me mean" when I wear it. It's just disturbing feeling on the areas covered by that shirt or any shirt in that shade. It's almost like a mild case of "reverse synethesia" because it is the color that creates a sense of "tactile off-ness" but also does make me feel like there's some disturbing electrical activity in my brain. I just did a quick search, and the following link talks about "cross-sensory" input. I guess maybe (in view of the number of people who have some form of it) I could have a very mild, very isolated, version of it - at least when it comes to light blue.
I have it!
I can see notes in color. For instance, F is green to me, and G is blue, and C is red. However, when I'm hearing a piece of music, I see the color of the key the music begins in, rather than seeing the colors of the individual notes. So "Yesterday" by The Beatles (which is in F) is a "green song" for me and "Goodbye, Hello" (which is in C) is "red" in my mind. It throws me off a bit when a song I know really well is in another key and I have to readjust.
As a sidenote (no pun intended), I'm kind of a savant when it comes to playing music by ear. I can hear a song and repeat it back on my flute, and then transpose it by ear in my head. I can improvise in jazz, too. I played an hour's worth of popular music at my friend's wedding last year, never having used any music at any stage! But because of this, I'm not that great at actually reading music, though I did study classically for many years. But I'm much more comfortable composing in my head, where I can "see" my little cheat sheet of color-coordinated notes.
I also see physical manifestations of months and days of the week; I see kind of big calendar grid in front of me and can physically place where the days or months are. So far, this hasn't done much for me, though. I am very punctual, LOL.
Interesting comments, Lisa HW, and thanks for the reference. Which reminds me that I forgot to add a url from a site that's rather enlightening on synesthesia. The site is found @ http://home.comcast.net/~sean.day/index.html.
Patty Inglish, MS: WOW! There's a sean day site that offers a list of about 16 or so types of synesthesia along with their occurrence ratios, and I think yours is among the rarest.
Just how does a spoken word taste? Is there any difference compared to the flavor of written words? Did this perception affect your feelings toward school teachers, peers, etc?
NaomiR: Your colored hearing is more pronounced than mine, especially as to improvisation, which I do by emotion rather than color. Any color attached to the finished piece only appears after the fact rather than in realtime. I like the practical value you've found in your synee abilities. I wonder: do you ever see notes or sounds as shapes?
Certain famous and not-so-famous artists have been synesthetic. Scriabin is one, Duke Elliington another. Your Beatles music synthesia is of interest too.
Have you ever closely contemplated the color images for peculiar characteristics, such as not only "red", but smooth, silky or blood red?
I ask because, with me and others I've heard of, there's additional color characteristics that beg for adjectives: purple is jittery purple, blue is frosty blue, gray is smooth gray, or yellow is shiny yellow. However that, I enjoyed all of your comments.
I have this condition to some extent. I taste wrtten and spoken words and aromas & tastes are the same to me. I have some other variations as well.
Is there a pattern in which words coordinate with which tastes?
I do see different shades of colors, depending on the type of music, i.e. a more relaxing song in G will usually be a lighter blue than, say, a jazz tune that's in the same key.
As for shapes, sometimes I see sort of these pulsating waves. And sometimes I'll literally see green or blue notes in my head.
What's interesting is that my syn. is more pronounced on certain notes. I can easily identify F, G, C and A in my head; if someone plays those notes on a piano, I can automatically tell what they are. But I have to think a little harder to get the accidental notes (the black keys on a piano), like F sharp or B flat. Consequently, while those notes are also color-coordinated for me, the colors aren't as strong. F sharp is kind of a misty gray, B flat is a yellow... lighter colors compared to the strong ones I see for the natural notes.
Hi LEWJ - I was looking for this and couldn't find it! I've always listened to music and seen it in colour inside my head - not individual notes but the whole. Strange thing is, I thought it was normal till I learned otherwise
Hey there, Shalini--glad you found us! So you see the whole piece as a color instead of the separate notes; that's the same as with me, but I mostly see the shapes of each note and the individual notes form dynamic spatial patterns that look like abstract paintings afloat in mid air.
Seems only certain musical notes convey color, but when they do, the effect is sometimes flashy, brilliant. Colored hearing, though, is probably the most common type of synesthesia according to info on it.
How did you find out, Shalini, that it was'nt as common as you had thought?
That's exactly what I thought! I didn't find out what synesthesia was until about two years ago when I asked one of my musician friends if she also saw the song we were working on in green. And she got all excited about me having synesthesia. I never knew it had a name or that it was rare, but after talking with her, I went and looked it up.
I was stupid enough to tell someone something we were listening to was toooo red!! He looked at me like I'd lost it
It's usually like a moving wave of colour - changing and yet harmonious
I see colors that go with the the timbre of a person's voice.
LEWJ, in some ways your experiences are similar to mine. I tend to see smooth, high voices as white or grey or beige. Scratchy voices of medium range (not too high or too low) are orange. If the pitch gets lower, then they might be brownish. Low voices that are very smooth tend toward blue.
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