The Colour of Music
32pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99
Molly can see the music. Colours flash brilliantly as she listens. The music takes her on a journey into places filled with colour, revealing connections between music, emotions, and the world we live in. As she lies on the floor with her eyes shut and her ears open, and the vibrations of sound running through the floorboards to make her fingers tingle, she is transported to a world of colours and pictures, impressions and feelings that not only give her a whole inner body experience but also a whole outer body experience.
Tiffen’s lyrical text, accompanied by Ottley’s magical illustrations offer the reader just a taste of the river of sights and sounds and sensations that Molly undergoes when she is connected to her music, an experience known as synaesthesia – an involuntary merging of the senses such as hearing colours or seeing sounds. But even though we might not be synaesthetic, nevertheless music can still evoke amazing images with the same piece of music interpreted differently by each individual.
Play a piece for your class while they shut their eyes and let their imaginations drift and then have then share or draw what their mind’s eye saw. It is a soothing way to relax and spend an hour or two. Good for the soul and so much simpler than any contrived mindfulness exercises. .
Not being the slightest bit musical, and having no love of classical music, I was amazed at how I could listen to ABC Classics on the nights I couldn’t sleep during my recent illness and the places my mind went so I eventually drifted off into a technicolour dream world that mirrored the sounds I was hearing. So synaesthetic or not, the colour of music can be seen by all of us if we are willing to look.