Hearing Colours…

In a past blog, Synesthesia And Me (part 1), A Colourful Alphabet, I talked about numbers and letters having colours. This post – Part 2, is about experiencing colours auditorily with examples of music.

You might have heard of artists who paint music or sounds, I am not one of those people, but I find the idea intriguing. I’m not musically inclined, never have been, I can’t sing or play an instrument. Frankly, I’m not even sure what I experience in my mind’s eye from music is not what everyone else experiences. Certain notes are darker or lighter in essence and some sounds I would think are obvious to everyone like a tinkling bell is lighter in colour than a dong.

I became aware of music having colours when I was given the CD Ashanti, her debut album. What really struck me was the overarching essence of the album. It was dusky and sombre blue/purple and black. Every song had an individual colour and some were brighter with yellows and lighter blues, but listening to the album as a whole it had dreary, moody, and emotionally draining colours. I found that while I liked the artist’s voice and the songs individually, I couldn’t listen to the album. It was too dark for my spirit.

This is the essence of the album:

Ashanti
Essence of the album Ashanti.

Different genres will have an overall colour theme, but individual songs don’t necessarily follow the colour scheme. Also, the less I know about or listen to a genre of music, the less colour association it has.

For example:

Rap music is grey and purple similar to the Ashanti album. Perhaps more grey and less purple though. I don’t listen to too much Rap so I don’t have a complete sense of it. But I do enjoy Hip Hop which tends to have more colours however subdued.

My example here is Coolio’s song “Gangsta’s Paradise”. The song’s chorus is a rich blue, but the rapping is charcoal with a smidge of peridot green. There’s also the line raped “I’m 23, never will I live to see 24”, where the colours of my numbers influence the colours in the song too. But the main essence is black and blue.

Gangsta's Paradise
Essence of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio featuring L.V.

 

Pop music tends to be lighter and brighter, with more pinks, yellows, and blues, kind of like a rainbow or confetti.

A perfect example of this is Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time”:

...Baby One More Time
Essence of the song “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.

However, not all pop songs are so colourful. Taylor Swifts’ song “Style” is much more light and airy. This song is white and sky blue, with a touch of red from the line “red lip classic thing that you like”. This song and the colours give me a feeling of freedom like I can fly or do anything.

Style
Essence of the song “Style” by Taylor Swift.

 

Rock music is usually dark appearing in black and greys, however deep red, dusky blues, and even some brighter colours can make appearances depending on the song.

AC/DC is more metal but I think still falls within this genre. Their song “TNT” is black, grey, and silver.

TNT AC/DC
Essence of the song “TNT” by AC/DC

While Aerosmith’s song Dream has black but it also has a strong presence of red with a touch of silver, blue, and yellow.

Dream On
Essence of the song “Dream On” by Aerosmith.

 

Punk music as a whole is green, blue, and white. I don’t listen to this genre much, although I do listen to the radio so I know a fair share of the hit songs.

Here’s a fun example: The Offspring produces very green music. So much so that I always think that they must be Green Day to my husband’s chagrin. To be fair, Green Day has a completely different sound, but it’s green too! AND the name GREEN DAY is GREEN!!!!! LOL, just an assortment of different greens. So I get confused.

Here is “Self Esteem” by The Offspring:

Self Esteem
Essence of the song “Self Esteem” by The Offspring.

And “Basket Case” by Green Day to compare:

Basket Case
Essence of the song “Basket Case” by Green Day.

 

Country music is yellow and blue. This is not a genre I listen to. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t know anybody who does… So it doesn’t make an appearance in my life often. But the one country song I do know is the “Cadillac Ranch”. I believe multiple artists have covered it, but the one I’m thinking of is by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. And it looks just like country music!

Cadillac Ranch
Essence of “Cadillac Ranch” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

 

I wanted to talk about other senses in this post, but it’s getting too long. I will continue with a part 3, so stay tuned for tasting and feeling colours.

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