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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.
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The Artist Who Paints What She Hears

103 Folder Collection
許大善 published on November 25, 2019
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