The Synesthetic Artist: She Paints What She Hears

In the following 3-minute clip, Melissa McCracken, a Kansas City-based artist, describes and demonstrates her unique artistic style as a consequence of her synesthesia, a rare neurological condition in which the brain is cross-wired, resulting in certain stimuli eliciting incorrect responses in the brain. In Melissa’s case, different sounds are perceived as different colours; it is this form of synesthesia which sees her transposing songs she likes into eye-catching, vivid works of art.

Believing, as a youngster, that everyone associated music with colours, Melissa soon realised that she had a fairly distinctive gift. Research has suggested that approximately one in 2,000 people have a form of synesthesia, with notable examples including Wassily Kandinsky, Pharrell Williams, and Marilyn Monroe. 

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