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The Artist Who Paints What She Hears

The Artist Who Paints What She Hears


– I started painting music just because I would try to explain synesthesia so many
times, it never quite made as much sense to describe it verbally, so I thought it would be best just to put it on canvas just
because I’ve always been an artist and it made it much easier for people to be able to understand it. My name is Melissa McCracken, and I am a synesthetic artist. Synesthesia is a neurological condition where your brain is basically cross-wired, so certain stimuli will come in and it’ll create the wrong
response in my brain. So for me that’s listening to music and it’s translated into color in my head. I’m going to paint
Superstition by Stevie Wonder. I love the song Superstition just because it’s dynamic and funky and
just fun and expressive. Whenever I start a piece, I have to listen to the song first to even know what kind of colors I’d like to use. There are some songs that I hate that I like the way that
they look a little bit. Like a lot of pop music
can be pink and purple and, you know just all
these fun bright colors but the song’s not that good. So one or the other, I
appreciate it somehow. You know you kind of have to really be in the right vibe to be able to paint. If you’re not in the right vibe, you’re not gonna make anything good. I think the prettiest genre
of music is jazz music. I love blues and golds and whites, and it just seems very pearly
and iridescent a little bit. When I listen to Etta James’ At Last, the thing that stuck
out most to me was just her voice at the very beginning when she goes into the “At last…” ♫ At last And it’s just a very bright
and but also warm sort of feeling and very kind of classic jazzy, which jazz music generally has a very gold and blue sort of look to it. Music has always been a
very big part of my life. My older brother is very musical and when I think back of him playing the guitar for me, I think of the colors of what those memories are. I was always a little disappointed because I was never
very musically inclined. It was really cool to
have a way to bring music into, you know, my life in
a different sort of way.

100 thoughts on “The Artist Who Paints What She Hears

  1. Here's a question. Does one synesthete see the same colour as another? Or are the colour patterns to pitch, tone, etc – all different for different people?

    It would be amazing if they all saw the same colours in the same combination.

  2. I wonder what she’d think of

    Keys ‘n Krates – Dreamyness
    Bensound – Dreams
    Nihilore – Bush Week

    Those are my top 3 favorite songs.

  3. Curious what she sees when she hears Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

    Best fucking movie, EVER by the way!!

  4. As much as I appreciate her painting style, idea and method, I remain quite skeptical about how 'real' synesthesia actually is. I can well imagine that music makes her see or feel colors, and even more so than it does with other people, that she feels painting inspiration and that her brain is more interconnected, surely, BUT is the sequence of colors really exactly the same everytime she hears the song, independent of her mood, the situation and so on? Is there an exact translation from sound to color sequence? If so, it should be possible to verify this empirically I guess: Make a synesthetist hear a song and let him tell you the color sequence. Note down the sequence as detailed as possible. Do it many times to make him forget which seqence belongs to which song, and wait a long time to be safe (weeks, months, may be even a year). Repeat the same procedure and compare the results. I doubt they will be the same? But if they won't, synesthesia cannot be called a 'translation' from sound to sight, can it?

  5. You are blessed by God to be an artist you are called by him to be an artist. You are not Crosswire you are not anything but other than what God has gifted you to be you are a blessing. Jesus loves you create for his glory and honor because he has given you this amazing gift!

  6. Silly girl… She said her brain is crossed wired and is interpreting it wrong.. Her brain is processing at a much higher rate.. Its gift..

  7. one of my high school teachers has this condition and at the end of the year she painted the colors she saw when she heard her students voices, I miss you miss Hoskins

  8. Wow! My disability is Multiple Sclerosis. I say MS stands for mad skills. I’m still trying to figure out what they. 🤔

  9. So, does listening to music annoy her. When did she realize that there was a name for her 'condition' or how she synthesizes music in her head?

  10. all the mentally ill are so creative and smart. i am the only one who lives in the world of shit. mental illnesses are such a wonderful thing.

  11. Not "wrong response" , different, different and beautiful….you experience a different set of landscapes in qualia space. It's like the difference between what a goat sees on teh side of a tall mountain and what a Condor sees flying over that same mountain….is one "better" or "wrong" ? absolutely not.

  12. Mmmmm, wat the actual fuck, hear let me play davincis mona lisa, mmmm what's that it's translates into wtf ever you want im t to be ve vfc use it's an emotionless painting with deep color expressions that was simply made to appease a silly woman who leonardo was probably fucking. Or better yet maybe a cross dresser. Now do not put gender and expression that it's used to appease the eyes and try to converse it to the ear, you dont translate shot you cant paint music. I'll give you this if t
    Your were totally blind then maybe you'll have a better idea but no , at is in the eye of the beholder. Not the artist, an artist is a simple median to Express there eyes and let others evolve there own emotion and there own feeling. You expressing yours and now people and more tragically you tricking children into believing that there is a limit

  13. I have the same thing i see color in people and i hear numbers and I know thare personality it is so weird but i love it

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