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Artist With Rare Synesthesia Condition Can See Music And Paints Famous Songs

Artist With Rare Synesthesia Condition Can See Music And Paints Famous Songs image

Artist With Rare Synesthesia Condition Can See Music And Paints Famous Songs

When artist Melissa McCracken listens to music, she actually sees it, too.

Due to a neurological condition known as synesthesia, McCracken experiences sound in a totally fresh way. It's as if her sensory reception were cross-wired, meaning she can see the colour and shape of the notes. As a painter, McCracken has the rare opportunity to share her musical visions.

So what does sound look like? And do different sounds appear differently?

"Expressive music such as funk is a lot more colorful, with all the different instruments, melodies, and rhythms creating a highly saturated effect," McCracken explains.

"Guitars are generally golden and angled, and piano is more marbled and jerky because of the chords. I rarely paint acoustic music because it's often just one person playing guitar and singing, and I never paint country songs because they're boring muted browns. 

The key and tone also has an impact, so I try and paint the overall feeling of the song."

Explore more of McCracken's work on her website.

David Bowie, "Life on Mars."


Prince, "Joy in Repetition."


Radiohead, "All I Need."


Iron & Wine, "Boy With a Coin."


Bach, "Cello Suite No. 1."


Radiohead, "Karma Police."


Pink Floyd, "Time."


Bon Iver, "For Emma, Forever Ago."


John Lennon, "Julia."


Jimi Hendrix, "Little Wing."


Stevie Ray Vaughan, "Lenny."


Via Broadly

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