Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon that causes senses to become entangled – so to some people, a particular building might have a particular smell associated with it, or a sound might have a certain colour.
The multi-talented Dev Hynes – mostly operating as Blood Orange right now – is a "sufferer" of synesthesia, and he's been vocal about how it has affected and informed his work. Last week (Thursday March 20th), he gave a TED Talk in Vancouver, Canada, talking about synesthesia and how it drew him to music when he was younger.
SPIN journalist Alyssa Noel reported from the talk, explaining how Hynes first learnt about it aged 13 when a music teacher explained the phenomenon to him. "The way it works for me is my sight and sound senses are combined," Hynes said, "Every sound I associate with a color and every color I associate with a sound… The way I see things is constant streamers across the room, bouncing off from every touch and every sound. Over the years, I've learned what color palates I love most," he said.
Apparently, Hynes explained how the condition helped him devise his score for upcoming Gia Coppola movie Palo Alto. "When I was asked to compose a score for… Palo Alto, I first thought to myself, 'What is the house that these characters would want to live in?' I wanted to paint a picture and color scheme that I could work around. I gently apply different daubs to see what fits to match the color I have in mind with these characters."
Writing on his own blog, Hynes said that he was "very honored" to do the talk, and that he "hadn’t been that nervous since high school. Altogether, an intense, inspiring week in Vancouver. I heard some very inspirational talks and met some amazing minds."
Here's hoping that the full talk will end up on Youtube soon enough.