Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

Synesthesia

When I talk about color in music (besides being a composer, I am also a painter), I am often asked whether I have synesthesia. I do not, and I am grateful that I do not. From what I understand, synesthesia can be an annoying impediment. But I have been observing interesting associations created by my brain when connecting smells to memories, colors to harmonies, and the movement of imaginary objects or bodies to musical textures. These sensations cannot be explained; they can only be experienced. They are spontaneous in and of themselves, but they can also be encouraged by deep focus, observation, and mindfulness. We strive so much in our lives to ensure that everything makes perfect sense, that we often overlook the beauty at the intersection of things that are absurd and abstract.

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