Art as Music. Music as Art. (or, How to visualize a song)


By web gangsta | Published:

Do you – or someone you know – suffer from SYNESTHESIA?

That’s the neurological condition where someone experiences one sense at the same time (or in place of) experiencing it in the traditional way.

One of Web Watch’s friends has this condition, and when they hear specific words, they also end up visualizing that word in front of them at the same time.  Some people see colors by smell, or can hear what tree bark sounds like by touching it.

Look, we know that the above isn’t the best explanation about what’s going on in some people’s heads, but the point is that some people just are better at visualizing things in a manner that the rest of us could just never understand.

Giant headphones wall sticker
Giant Headphones Wall Sticker

And so it goes with music for some of those same folks.

While we may listen to music and feel it in our own, special way – some who suffer from synesthesia may see the music in the air in front of them.

They may see colors, lines, patterns.  Notes bouncing off the walls in front of them.  Some with synesthesia are said to be more creative and mentally acute than those of us who don’t have that.  Scientists have spents years trying to figure out ways to experience senses in the same manner that these people can.

Which still brings us back to music as art, or art as music.

The website TRANSSUBSTANTIATIO is dedicated to visualizing what music really looks like.

The best part is that you can do this exact same thing yourself, at home.

All they do is take any audio file you happen to have on your computer, and opening it in your favorite full-featured graphic editor as a RAW graphic file.

The resulting graphic is a visual representation of the song.  Depending on how ABACAB the song is, you should instantly be able to see where the chorus is versus the main lyrical section versus the instrumentals.

Work your way through the Transsubstantiatio archive to see if there are any songs you can recognize, just from the graphical patterns shown on the screen.  And if you’ve tried this on any of your own song files and think they’re pretty spectactular, then let us know if the comments below…