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Artist With Synesthesia Portrays How She “Sees” Famous Songs

This artist can see sound and songs and here are what they look like. We hear sounds and see colours – this is how the human brain and nervous system are wired. What happens if these senses are swapped, so to say? A neurological condition called synesthesia actually causes some people to “see sounds and taste colours”.

sounds turned images

Sounds seen as colours. Photo credits: Melissa S McCracken.

Synesthesia, albeit a very rare condition affecting 1 in 2,000 people, is the result of individual neural sensory pathways in the brain getting specially interlinked. The word comes from Greek: syn, meaning union, and aesthesis meaning sensation.

Now, how would such a person see sounds? An artist going by the name of Melissa McCracken gives us a peek into her world: when she listens to music, she sees it as images and colours, and she has gone forward with putting the sounds-turned-images onto paper. Visit her website to discover her world.

“Basically, my brain is cross-wired. I experience the “wrong” sensation to certain stimuli. Each letter and number is colored and the days of the year circle around my body as if they had a set point in space. But the most wonderful “brain malfunction” of all is seeing the music I hear. It flows in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if it were a vital and intentional element of each song. Having synesthesia isn’t distracting or disorienting. It adds a unique vibrance to the world I experience,” she writes on her website.

Here is how she sees some famous songs:-

  1. John Lennon – Imagine


2. John Mayer – Gravity


3. Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing

little wing

4. David Bowie – Life on Mars

life on mars

5. Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You

led Z.

6. Prince – Joy in Repetition

joy in repetition


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