Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hearing Colours, Seeing Sounds

A shout out to my good friend and animator Samantha Moore who's working on an animated film about synaesthesia (the sensation of 'hearing colours or seeing sounds') and has an upcoming interactive showcase at The Dana Centre, 165 Queen's Gate in South Kensington (London). It's on the 31st May, 7pm-9pm. This event is free but places must be booked by calling 020 7942 4040 or by e-mailing

Here's what's in store:

"Would you describe a B played on the cello an ominous dark shape made of synthetic fur with teeth embedded in its back? Or does it have a claggy peanut butter middle with chocolate rippled over it? Would a D sharp appear like a fluid, crenelated burst of colour, trailing sparkles as it goes?

Synaesthesia, from the Greek (syn-) “union,” and (aesthesis) “sensation,” is the mixing of senses. People with synaesthesia literally ‘see’ music in colour and movement. Samantha Moore from the University of Wolverhampton, Jamie Ward from University College London and New London Orchestra musicians have developed a project looking at the way in which synaesthetes react visually to music.

Their unique responses have been animated, and form a fascinating archive of material which helps explain the way in which all of us respond to music. Artist, Lynette Kay, a synaesthete, will show us her paintings inspired by music. Join us for an evening of music, animation, discussion, and even test yourself for synaesthesia!"

Ordinarily I would have kept this for the Weekend Noticeboard but Sam's a mate and I'm absolutely jaded with the computer this week so I'm off to the beach to refresh my brain. Lovely blue skies here.

Been focused on Cannes this week, trawling through the Cannes database, sending emails, setting up meetings, whilst also working on a new radio idea that the producer (who I met last year) is keen to push on the BBC. The particular subject matter is fairly grim and intense, and what with the charged monotony of mining a database, my brain feels a bit flat and knackered. Plus I've added a gym workout to the slow rehabilitation of my back and dormant muscles now ache with the newfound awareness of actually being used. And my car failed its MOT and needs new brakes.

To the beach...


Optimistic_Reader said...

I'll try to get along to that Danny, sounds fascinating.

Enjoy your day at the beach!

Lucy said...

The idea of "seeing" music is really intriguing, but I don't know if I would count as one of these synaesthesiasts. I listen to music and see scenarios, kind of like a medium with a crystal ball: "I see a man...He's running...With a briefcase!" or "There's a girl, in a barn with a donkey..." Then I add bits to it and build them up, the music often playing a part in that if it's dark, it ends up a dark premise, etc etc. Interesting in any case...been writing about something similar myself today. Have a good time at the beach...I'm hoping to be in extreme pain tonight (I know, weird isn't it when you put it like that??) so may or may not be here when you get back my virtual colleague.

Tim Clague said...

Brakes are for wimps anyway