I see…colours!

Apparently, as I have recently discovered, I see something that others don’t. It is not a gift or talent in the least but it is something that I have seen for as long as I can remember and just assumed that everybody else saw the same. But I’m told they don’t. It even has a name: Synesthesia. And I am a Synesthsete (apparently!)

When I think of days of the week I see colours. Monday is a yellow. Tuesday is a dark blue. Wednesday is a slightly lighter shade of blue. Thursday is a light brown/Orange. Friday is a light yellow. Saturday is a blue. Sunday is an orange colour. It’s the same with numbers: I won’t list them but suffice to say each number has it’s own colour which has remained unchanged since my earliest memories. This phenomenon varies according to the individual: some have a taste experience when they think of numbers or days of the week; others, like me, associate colours.

The question is why? My theory is that synesthetes use colours, tastes and smells as a memory aid. People with extraordinary skills in remembering things (multiple decimal places of Pi or large numbers of household objects on a table etc) generally use association to remember things; maybe synesthetes (and probably everyone else) are subconsciously using the same techniques. I’m told that when we leave a room we apparently cross an “event horizon” which affects our ability to remember stuff. You know the feeling when you go into another room to get something and completely forget what you went in for? That is because you have crossed the event horizon (ie left the room!) and lost the association that would have allowed you to have remembered the original thought you had. By returning to that place where you had the thought you quickly remember what it was you were trying to find.

What has this got to do with music? Absolutely nothing. It was just something I discovered this week and wanted to share.