Music Consciousness: what synaesthesia tells us about emotions and visualisation of senses?

colourful music

Evening webinar
19:00 - 20:00 BST Wednesday 21st April 2021

Join us in Music Consciousness: what synaesthesia tells us about emotions and visualisation of senses?

Consciousness is one of the most fundamental biological processes of the human brain; enabling us to be aware of ourselves, and to explain and communicate thoughts and experiences with others. What if this inner reality is a fantasy? Through our imaginations we can create things we have never experienced before and, for some people, their brains habitually create an additional layer of perceptual experiences (e.g. people with synaesthesia who have visual experiences of music). This extra layer of experience in synaesthesia may give rise to greater feelings of immersion and wonder, that could perhaps be recreated using technology to achieve positive benefits for others. In this project we are going to demonstrate how music and emotion could be perceived visually with a help of artist-synaesthete Dr Timothy Layden who painted fragments of supreme Liszt Piano Sonata in B-minor. The chosen composition is often associated with Faust Goethe and is a fascinating demonstration of Liszt’s mastery of musical language invention.

This project will show how archetypes of musical texture and cross-modal associations of the pianist Dr Svetlana Rudenko create musical narrative of “imaginary reality” to project emotion to the audience. And how sensory visualisation from both artists could be put into audio-visual animation by Prof. Maura McDonnell.

Synaesthesia is a benign condition that is characterised by cross-sensory perceptions – in addition to perceiving one stimulus, people with synaesthesia may perceive an additional quality to the experience – a colour or smell or feeling. The expert in Synaesthesia research neuroscientist Prof. Jamie Ward will lead the discussion between artists with scientific insights into the sensory nature of perceptions, synaesthesia and creativity.

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