Has anyone experianced Synesthesia?

To be more specific Auditory Synesthesia, from what I understand it is quite rare. At least when it isn't induced by hallucinogenics or other narcotics.

For those of who don't know what it is, it is basically a swapping of sensory perception. Like tasting sound, hearing colors and so on. As you may have guessed I can, at times, (not always, it's not some superpower) see sound traveling through the air like 3D ripples propagating in water...... A gift? I'm not so sure, it can make driving quite difficult when it kicks in.

However it has brought me to where I am today.....

Upon reflection I think it is a lot like A.D.H.D. (which I also have) - not a disease. You see, if control is learned or achieved over A.D.H.D., you can function on a different level than most.

My A.D.H.D (after mastering it's quirks) has made my life easier. By design A.D.H.D. makes your brain work at high speeds, hence the trouble children have with it. I found that if I could process the high speed information coming in, I could use it just as fast. Something I'm teaching my son to do now, hopefully saving him the problems I had adjusting as a child.

Like I said it is not a disease, in fact I believe it is a gift.

I just hope the Synesthesia can be just as useful. So let me know what you think..... disease or gift? Any extra information on this condition (Synesthesia) would be greatly appreciated.

Also I'd like to add that I am not an audio genius or anything, just like the A.D.H.D., you have to know what to do with the information coming in.

Synesthesia Studios
Synesthesia Studios...... What are you trying to sell?
I used to have a piano teacher who experienced it and saw chords as rainbows with different notes as different shades of colors. He was incredibly gifted at using that to figure out complex chords from an entire orchestra or jazz band very quickly. It is truly incredible and I wish I could experience such a thing.
Like seeing big fat deep sounds coming toward you about a foot or two from the floor up,,while higher sounds seem to float a little higher in space and around ear level or a little higher.They are so real that you feel like you can cup one of the pretty little notes in your hand when they go floating by you,,but not quite.Is that the same thing?
01-03-13: Tpreaves, I do easily take offense to some comments, so if you were just messing around I apologize, If not, I don't.

What am I selling? Are you kidding? The name was bestowed upon me by friends. Since they are familiar with my condition and yes I have a studio/sound room. Just yesterday your comments to me were to be indifferent to others idea's about me.

"You like what you like. Why care what others think? That's just my uninformed take on your situation." Remember????

So why the sarcasm? Besides do you see any listings on Audiogon from me? The Synesthesia Studios name is used for local non-profit work only.

I won't/can't divulge the name of my company online. But I will tell you what I do. It's called "Executive Protection" and you'd get billed $600 an hour (plus expenses) just for me to stand next to you - In the U.S. that is, overseas work costs much, much, more.

I changed to that career when the economy tanked. I was in the audio business for a long time before that. Come to think of it you should probably look up both Synesthesia and Executive Protection. It might enlighten you a bit.

After all, I get shot at for a living... what do you do? Maybe you wake up have a cup of coffee, and read the paper? You know your routine, right?

Me? I get up, put my body armor on, a nice suit, check my sidearm, radio, three phones, squad car, and my long gun in the trunk. So please excuse me if I seem a little jaded, just the thought of being some cheap ass salesman with a gimmick or cleaver name is unthinkable (until you brought it up). I give more everyday than most do in a lifetime!!!

"What am I selling?"...... Perhaps my soul, but not my dignity. So I'm sorry if I jumped on you, but I bite back when I feel threatened or insulted. I Hope you meant neither.

01-03-13: Raytheprinter, I gotta tell you that your description is very close to how I experience Synesthesia,
I tend to equate my visuals to ripples in water - but in 3D. The lows have bigger ripples, while the highs are more like vibrations on the surface of the water. And most definitely the air seems thicker - like you could drink it.

Keep in mind that nobody experiences it in the same way.

Synesthesia Studios
I'm still trying to getit.
Is it some substance that you can consume orally, IV or snorting so you get to listen better?

I'm born hyper and my current consumption of cannabinoids(of various kinds including meal spices) helps me to sleep and function focused.

As you understand, I also wouldn't care if it's not FDA approved so as cannabinoids.

And last, don't take neither me or Tpreaves seriously. If you have lost sense of humor, I can share how cannabinoids can establish or cure lost sense of humor.
I get strong visual bursts of color patterns only if i an 'suprised' by a noise or sound. The sound does not have to be loud, but it has to be a complete suprise. And I have to be relatively relaxed too.
The burst lasts only a moment, but it fills my visual field completely.
Never two the same, but most have a general kalidioscope quality or a similar small repeated pattern across the visual field. It hits like a bolt of lightning. instant, total..
This has been happening for my whole life. (i am 63)
I have no other types of crossed senses.
01-03-13: Marakanetz, First off thanks for telling me how it is around here. I mean no harm but due to the nature of my work I constantly expect it. I've been seriously injured many times on the job. But I don't like the addiction that comes with the pills, and, since I am self employed... I'm a certified Medical Marijuana Card holder, so we should all get along fine!

As for the drug induced Synesthesia, it does happen, and is not permanent, not that part of the experience anyway. I experience it naturally, but, I've been told Peyote works best.... if you are up to that kind of thing.

Someone who will follow you around and keep you from doing incredibly stupid or dangerous things. VERY IMPORTANT

As for my sense of humor? It's still there but, the subject matter has become quite dark. It's still funny to me and my closest friends & family.

You know, like this.....

"It's just murder man!
All gods creatures do it.
We just do it and call it industry."
(Woody Harrelson, Natural Born Killers)

See what I mean.

Synesthesia Studios
01-03-13: Elizabeth, Sounds like you've got the bug too, but like I said everyone experiences it a little different.

I get a similar response when frightened, but I fear it's a bit more of the fight or flight instinct, however, the real problem occurs when I do neither. Sometimes I even pass out. Especially when I let people cause me pain - either thru tattoos or medical procedures. I wonder if and how it's connected?

Synesthesia Studios
Wow man, you sure do seem to have your knickers in a twist. Lighten up and enjoy life.
Try getting shot at for a living.
Also try not being so full of yourself.
I think I may have experienced it once, when a youngster at school. Someone had thrown an apple at me and I put up my foot to block it and with the aid of adrenalin, everything went into super slow motion and there were ripples emanating from my foot along with the apple pieces.

The super slow-mo was due to the adrenalin rush but the ripples left me wondering. It may have been the sound coming out visually as a side effect.

Do you think that maybe due to your job and the inherent danger, the amount of adrenalin you experience is higher than normal and at a more constant rate? This may be a result of your conditioning but not the only one as the piano teacher mentioned lived a relatively sedate life (I would imagine).

Food for thought.

All the best,
When i was a child, i was fascinated by records playing and learned to make accurate predictions of variaions in sound heard by studying the modulation in the record grooves. For example, i could place the needle in the correct location to hear a certain portion of a song i had heard prior. I can still do it to some extent but am not as wellpracticed these days. This was more an exercisd in cognitive association of patterns than what i understand synesthesia to be though.
Andrew, There is a great book by brain scientist Oliver Sacks, called Musicophilia that discusses synthethesia in great variety and detail - evidently it is much more common than thought. He also describes the power of music and many other interesting things about music that I did not know.
Just ignore the hostile idiots you encounter along the Audiogon way - they are a minority and not worth the energy.
01-04-13: Gammajo, It's nice to be reminded that the world isn't as hostile as I sometimes see it, thanks, that means a lot. And the reference to Oliver Sacks is much appreciated, I intend to follow up on that right away! And I was just about to post a comment like "I know you are but what am I?" It's a good thing I read your post first, I almost fell into the bickering little children's trap! Whew!

Thanks Again,
Synesthesia Studios
Andrew. Glad I could help. Let me know what you think of the book - I think is is required audiophile reading and added greatly to my pleasure in appreciating music!
Given your condition, it would be very interesting to know what components are in your system.
""What am I selling?"...... Perhaps my soul, but not my dignity."

Can you explain how it is possible to sell your soul without losing your dignity? To me, dignity is about having a soul, not about performing well regardless of all other considerations. I mean, there must be some reason people want to kill your clients, right? Not that the potential killers are any better than your clients, eh?
No, but then I do not consume Dos Equis.
I read somewhere that Hendrix talked about how he would see sounds as colors,wish I could remember where so I could revisit.
Makes you wonder if auras around bodies are nothing more than the visual aspect of the electrical impulses and signals our bodies make (I'm not referring to any kind of ESP).

I Sing The Body Electric!

All the best,
Read "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolf

I was in a Kirlian photography study in the late 70's and my surround image was Black (instead of the typical White).

This said, I still do not endorse Dos Equis.
Well, this is certainly an unusual discussion! Feels almost like Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson have come back from the dead.

While I've never experienced synesthesia, the composer Olivier Messiaen certainly did. He often spoke of "orange chords" and "blue chords" and such. I'm sure if you Googled his name and "synesthesia," you'd find quite a bit of info.

In all seriousness, I've witnessed auras only when young and most notably at school with the teacher in front of of the blackboard. I never saw colors really, just a whitish border around folk. I thought it was normal as I've always seen them.

It wasn't until sometime in adolescence that they became less and less apparent and just about stopped being noticeable. It's very rare when I do witness this phenomenon, to the point that I don't pay any attention.

And no, I don't take drugs.

All the best,
Yes, I have experienced this...but it was chemically induced by mescaline, peyote or LSD, depending on the availability. This was a long time ago in my life, 69 and 70 I'd say.
Whether it's drug induced or not, is it not simply a hallucination? And therefore without control?
I think not as all my siblings (there was 6 of us) saw them and we all thought it normal but only talked to friends about it.

As with me, the tendency to see them faded as we got older. I would imagine that if there is such a thing as an innocuous hallucination that it wouldn't be familial and have occurrences lessen over time. Unless it's an inherited, optical disorder of sorts.

All the best,
But did you have the ability to call on and control it? If not, what would trigger it?
No. It was there all the time.

The ability to see it lessened through time, for all of us, as far as I know. Once I became aware of it and its implications, I paid somewhat more attention to it, trying to figure it out. Some people had minor auras and some had more prominent ones. Some appeared to have none, but it was just barely there. It was comparative in that one who had one could be standing next to someone who didn't have much.

I never could figure it out and just let it go to the wayside. Never even talked about it until now. Next time I go to the store I'll "see" if it's still observable and that I'm simply not paying attention to it.

All the best,
On an aside, I trust this will not lessen the value or impact of my posts.


All the best,
Your explanation has the air of credibility as have you.
Praise God! I've been to more doctors, shrinks, charlatans,
and witchdoctors than you can shake a stick at. They tell me that it's all in my head...which I guess it is. I'm just so relieved to know that this 'thing' has a name and that I'm not alone. Sometimes it gets so bad that I don't leave my house for weeks at a time. And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I had my license revoked for driving the wrong way on the freeway (I-80). I could have died or killed someone for heavens sake. It's a curse alright.

I wish that the bosses here would allow us to exchange phone numbers. It would be such a blessing to know that I could reach out during a crisis. Andrew, you'd be number one on my list of people to call. Thank you for your post.

Keep the faith my brothers...and sisters.
Many thanks.

I've just come home from shopping and am happy to report that there's nothing to report, aura wise. Nothing at all.

Save for the unicorn that cut me off on the way home.

All the best,
Reading about others' experiences I feel cheated. The experts promised flashback episodes and there hasn't even been one. ;-)
No free trips here either(darn).
01-04-13: Peter_s, There is only one way I know how to "sell your soul" while keeping your dignity intact. You have to do it for reasons that are much more noble than personal profit. Perhaps I thought that my children's future was more important than any personal pain I may have to endure.

And as for my clients well, I must be very careful as to what I say about them. So lets just say they go through an extensive application process and must "qualify" to become a client. - To be fair most of them are actually decent people with real lives and families, just like you and me. It's just that some nut job is trying to kill them, and they are able to pay for the type of protection they need.

The cops can only do so much in these situations, a real problem when that "nut job" lives down the street or likes to stalk families just to scare them.

Synesthesia Studios