The Color of Sound
The Color of Sound

The Color of Sound

Synesthesia, the Color of Sound, and the Frequency of Ohm

Can you really see color when you hear music? Some of us do.
For many years, I never actually paid any attention to the fact that when I play music, the notes and the intervals take on, or rather produce a sense of color, of hue, in my mind.

When I did finally pay attention to the rainbows (or rather wash of color) that created themselves as I played, especially when composing or playing spontaneously, I mentioned it to a few people who promptly dismissed my description, or were so confused by it that they just stared at me and responded with “I don’t get it”. 

Then, one day, someone responded, “me too”. And so began my journey into a better way of explaining what was such an innate and natural component of music for me.

It started with identifying whether my perception of a pitch’s color remained consistent. For the most part, it seemed as though it did (doesn’t matter what octave). However, any time an interval was played, a wash of color is sensed, and only by intentional isolation, do I experience an awareness of singular hues. I found this awareness intersting enough to keep researching, but alas, as this was during a pre-Google period, there were not many resources, successfully found by me anyway, that really lent much credence to what I was experiencing.

Fast forward a decade or so and magically, the internet became useful for researching, though not entirely overflowing with much related to my subject matter of interest, there were bits and pieces to be found and I started making connections where I could. One revelation led to another, and what started out as trying to legitimize my chromatic sensory experience, became a full on trip down the rabbit hole of frequency.

I’m still there.

Below are links to some articles and videos that meander around this topic. I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences if you’d like to share.