Today's Saturday Short offers two short films. The first, immediately below, is Michal Levy's Giant Steps, an animated visualization representing what Levy saw as she listened to John Coltrane's music. A visual artist and jazz musician, Levy, it should be noted, is a synesthete; that is, her brain automatically "translates" what she hears into shapes and colors, which change with music's tone, pitch, frequency, or melody. Other synesthetes see words as colors or shapes, hear numbers, or smell letters or shapes. The neurological trait is ever-fascinating.
Be sure to visit Levy's Website.
My thanks to Brain Pickings, where I first saw the short.
In this second video, neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia and other well-known books, talks about musical synesthesia:
Want to know more? Check out these sites:
American Synesthesia Association
The Synesthesia Battery
The Synesthesia Project at Boston University
Synesthesia Resource Center
Synesthesia and the Synesthetic Experience
Synesthesia at Science Channel
Among books on the subject are Wendy Mass's A Mango-Shaped Space (for children; 2003), Patricia Lynne Duffy's Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds (2001), and Richard E. Cytowic's The Man Who Tasted Shapes (1998).