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🎨 Does tasting color make you automatically more creative?👩‍🍳

On synesthesia, Burt Bacharach, and more

Finding yourself, finally, at Friday

In today's issue

  • remembering a Titan of music, Burt Bacharach

  • is synesthesia a creative superpower?

  • more headlines

Burt Bacharach has died at the age of 94.

He was a renowned American composer, known for his orchestrated pop music with a signature sound projected by his distinct instrumentation.

You might find this playlist a great sampler, "The Genius of Burt Bacharach in 12 Songs."

He composed and arranged numerous hit songs, including "Say A Little Prayer," "Walk On By," "What The World Needs Now," and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

He would oft collaborate with lyricist Hal David, and with the vocals of Dionne Warwick, they'd launch hits.

Other vocalists to take up Burt's tunes were Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and Aretha Franklin.

He was classically trained and grew up in Queens, New York, influenced by jazz music and classical composer Darius Milhaud.

As one obit put it, "his sensibility often seemed more aligned with Tin Pan Alley than with Bob Dylan, John Lennon and other writers who later emerged, but rock composers appreciated the depth of his seemingly old-fashioned sensibility."

He wrote music that was accessible and unconventional in its structure and key changes.

He was called a visionary and set industry records and creative standards in the music industry.

He continued performing into his 80s, worked with Elvis Costello, and was sampled by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.

The elementary idea of our five senses gets a bit complicated when you started talking synesthesia.

The condition is known among artists for a blending of senses.

And it's becoming a bit of a trend for artists to openly identify with the condition.

But calling it trendy shouldn't imply I'm doubting it — quite the opposite, really.

Here's a quick selection of folks, past or present, with synesthesia:

  • Jean Sibelius

  • Finneas O'Connell

  • Olivia Rodrigo

  • Franz Liszt

  • Nikola Tesla

  • Vladimir Nabokov

  • Marilyn Monroe

  • Beyoncé

  • Alessia Cara

A few of the kinds of synesthesia include:

  • Chromesthesia: a type of synesthesia where sounds, such as music or speech, trigger the perception of color.

  • Grapheme-color synesthesia: where numbers and letters are associated with specific colors.

  • Spatial-sequence synesthesia: where sequences of numbers, months, or days of the week are experienced as having a specific spatial location.

  • Lexical-gustatory synesthesia: where words and language trigger the perception of taste.

  • Mirror-touch synesthesia: where observing touch experienced by others triggers a similar touch sensation in the observer.

  • Odor-color synesthesia: where specific odors are associated with specific colors.

As Scientific American puts it, "the note F is always a reddish shade of rust, a 3 is always pink or truck is always blue."

According to the American Psychological Association, "about one in 2,000 people are synesthetes, and some experts suspect that as many as one in 300 people have some variation of the condition."

Now. What does that mean for these folks?

Are they keenly crafted by the genetic lottery to excel at drawing connections?

Is it an encoded genius to synesthetes?

Well, answers could vary.

One study published in the British Journal of Psychology "suggest(s) that synaesthetes have better bottom-up access to certain associations, but are not necessarily better able to use them flexibly (in divergent thinking)."

Read more here:

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As artists, we are constantly searching for new ways to express ourselves and our creativity. Whether we specialize in painting, writing, or any other form of art, it can be tempting to stick to what we know and are comfortable with. However, branching out into different artistic mediums can have a number of benefits and can lead to new opportunities for growth and creativity.

One of the main benefits of exploring different artistic mediums is that it allows you to gain new perspectives and develop new skills. When you work with a new medium, you are forced to approach your art from a different angle, which can lead to new insights and ideas. For example, a writer who has never worked with oil paints may find that the process of painting allows them to see their stories in a new light, and they may begin to develop new themes and characters as a result.

Another reason to branch out into new artistic mediums is that it can help you to break out of creative ruts. When you've been working in the same medium for a long time, it's easy to fall into familiar patterns and habits. Trying out a new medium can shake things up and help you to think outside of the box. It can also help you to find new sources of inspiration and motivation, which can be especially important when you're feeling stuck.

Working with new mediums can also be a great way to challenge yourself and push your boundaries as an artist. When you're working with a new material or tool, you'll likely have to learn new techniques and overcome new obstacles, which can be a thrilling experience. The process of learning and growing as an artist can be both rewarding and fulfilling, and can help to build your confidence and your sense of self as an artist.

Exploring new artistic mediums can also be a great way to connect with other artists and to expand your artistic community. When you branch out into a new medium, you may find that there are others who share your interest and who are eager to connect and collaborate with you. This can be a great way to learn from others and to exchange ideas, and can also lead to new opportunities for growth and success.

Branching out into different artistic mediums can be a great way to deepen your understanding of your craft, to find new sources of inspiration and motivation, to challenge yourself, and to connect with other artists. Whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting out, it's never too late to try something new, and the benefits of doing so can be immense.

That's it for today.

Have a great day,

and don't forget, you've got the spark you need inside you.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to spread the spark to a friend!