Memories of Synaesthesia

“Synaesthesia is a neurodevelopmental condition in which a sensation in one modality triggers a perception in a second modality.” Simon Baron-Cohen et al, 2013.

Tonight, the sound washed over me:
voices warm, harmonies so cool

I almost got goosebumps. Immersed
in sound like a mild whirlpool

jetting gently, I’d have floated
into sleep if not for the flutes

itching in my left ear, low brass
that bubbled and bounced on my arms.

The bass viols were furious
in the final section, rubbing

frantically raw, all up and down
the long sore strings, gloriously

irritated. I think they were
happy to be tuned so transformed.

FOOTNOTE:
Baron-Cohen S, Johnson D, Asher J, Wheelwright S, Fisher SE, Gregersen PK, Allison C. Is synaesthesia more common in autism? Molecular Autism 2013, 4:40.

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2 responses to “Memories of Synaesthesia

  1. Very cool – both the science and the images. I think all too soon we out grow the ability to let music affect our bodies like that.

    • It’s very muted for me now, compared to when I was a child. I have to pay special attention, and ‘listen’ in a particular way for it to happen. It’s there, I just don’t notice it as much.

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