Does anyone here experience synesthesia? (Preferably without hallucinogens). Specifically of the sound to colour type? I’m toying with ideas for sound visualisation and would like to know what synesthetes might like in such modules.
My grandma has it, but she says it’s more for letters. She sees black letters in colors. Like an E is always blue, an I is always yellow etc… So i guess in music you associate a note with a color ? not too sure how it works , but a pitch to color visualizer might be very cool
On the way
There’s Alikins’ Color Panel
“A CV controlled RGB/HSL color “blank” panel. Supports selectable input ranges (0V to 10V or -5V to 5V) via right click context menu The color input mode is also selectable via the context menu. Module is resizable.”
Messiaen’s Traité de rythme, de couleur, et d’ornithologie “Treatise of Rhythm, Colour and Birdsong” There is a translation to English of the first volume, but that’s mostly on rhythm.
Every time I hear a politician speak, I see red
One of my first introductions to the condition - and to appreciation for electronic music in general - was that classic 2001 video game Rez for the Dreamcast (now available on many platforms).
I could bore you with trivia and deep lore about it for hours, but mercifully for you I’ll keep it short.
The game was explicitly attempting to simulate the experience of the condition, and was strongly inspired by (and dedicated to) the abstract paintings of Wassily Kandinsky, himself experiencing the condition, and a theorist of it.
How successful the game was as portraying the condition, I can’t tell for sure, but I’d guess “not very accurate”, nonetheless, it’s a unique experience, not accurately conveyed by watching a video, as the world around you pulsates, your actions are quantized to a techno beat, and your playstyle alters melodic phrases.
The music is straightforward, it generally has an easily followed four-on-the-floor kick, 4/4 signature, stable BPM. As a result, the visualization is not purely reactive, it is fully aware of the underpinning rhythmic scaffold. This is probably what makes its visuals such an efficient experience, compared to most music visualizers that, at best, vaguely pulsate to the beat.
If you have a chance to try it in VR, it’s an experience not to be missed, but even the original low-res version is still as fresh as it was 20 years ago.
Here’s a full playthrough of it (epilepsy warning):
Synesthesia is experienced differently by different people. There’s no “standard” mapping from pitch to color that synaesthetes share.