In 1980, according to George Washington University neurologist Dr.
Since then, the science of synesthesia has come a long way, thanks to neuroimaging and the ability to connect somebody’s sense of the reality of the world to her brain’s architecture.
An “ordinary” painter either captures a landscape before her or something she imagines.
A synesthetic one paints what she actually visualizes when hearing a specific concerto — or as Steen explained, what she sees when she feels the jab of a tetanus is what she perceived when her acupuncturist removed the needles at the end of a session.
For a synesthete with “ordinal-linguistic personification,” the number 9 might be a bearded hipster, while someone else swears 9 is a high-ponytailed blonde. Greta Berman, a Juilliard art historian who studies synesthetic artists, explains synesthetes don’t just For Steen, five is cadmium yellow medium.
In college, however, Day realized his synesthesia was actually hurting his creativity.
“I focused way too much on my synesthetic colors,” he wrote in an essay for Oxford’s Handbook of Synesthesia.
“I was ignoring what I was learning about balancing orchestration,” Day explained, “and my music sometimes was ludicrous, like mandolins and So, by his mid-30s, when writing music, Day started either ignoring his synesthesia completely or, if the piece called for a solo, focusing only on that one color or texture, without trying to combine instruments.
Synesthesia does not make you a better artist, he said (emphatically and multiple times).