Thursday, December 14, 2006

Two Awesome Words

Quoting here in both cases:

Telesthesia: sensation or perception received at a distance without the normal operation of the recognized sense organs.

Synesthesia: A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color.

The first is, of course, just a fancy way of saying "extrasensory perception," but I like the flow of the word and the "formal" feeling of it. The second - well, I'm fascinated by synethesia in general. In fiction, it's a fascinating way to convey sensation.


Laura said...

One of the other oboists did a research paper on the concept of composers composing in certain colors, and not just in reference to "tone color." The specific names and associated colors escape me right now, but it's a fairly developed aspect of music study. I don't know if the concept differs between the different genres (classical and folk in this case), however.

Lindsey Duncan said...

Without knowing more about the context, I can't say, but it sounds like something that would be fairly universal. And - nifty! Though I wonder if it's even possible to do an objective translation of color into sound and mood ...

Laura said...

"Assured of his colored hearing, Scriabin even criticized the colored hearing of his friend, the composer Rimsky Korsakow, as being artificial because he reported different cross-modal associations. Scriabin told the British psychologist Myers, who examined Scriabin in his laboratory when he was on tour in England, that:

...whereas to him the key of F# major appears violet, to Rimsky Korsakow it appears green; but this deviation Scriabin attributes to an accidental association with the color of leaves and grass arising from the frequent use of this key for pastoral music (Myers, 1914, p.7)."

I remember that quotation from her paper, actually. Part of the idea is that different keys of music are different colors.

On a side note, please excuse the name bouncing on my comments. I'm still fiddling with the basics of this blog.