Synesthesia is a term that gets thrown around a lot, usually to describe the common associations of color, image, and music. But for some people, intermingling of senses can be far more extreme. Listen to LJ Rich talk about what happens when hearing and taste intersect.
LJ Rich is most widely known as presenter of the BBC program Click. She’s also got vast musical experience, from composition to engineering. But for someone so involved in music, her experience is out of the ordinary. Her sense of taste evokes music, and her sense of music evokes taste.
The thing about our senses is, each of us assumes our own experience is the same as everyone else’s – until we hear otherwise. And then, it’s almost impossible to describe; human experience is far more relativistic than any of us can ever hope to understand. But listening to LJ talk about this will both give you insight into her unique way of taking in sound, as well as giving some clues to why music is profound and often cross-sensory for so many of us. She can describe what Debussy tastes like.
This opens up some new interdisciplinary performances; at Music Tech Fest (MTF) in Umeå, Sweden, LJ performed onstage with a bartender, who mixed a cocktail onstage.
LJ’s talk is the content of the first episode of the new MTF podcast. Listen at their site:
More on her expansive projects:
She’s also been interview on this topic:
Understanding the Connection Between Synesthesia and Absolute Pitch [The Scientist]
You Know What London Looks Like. But Have You Really Heard It? [The New York Times]
I’ll be with the MTF crew by tomorrow morning in Karlsruhe, Germany, as I participate in their #MTFLabs program, for a 24-hour laboratory – live performance in the ZKM Open Codes exhibition.
More on that soon.