Have you ever wondered if musical notes have colors? For Melissa McCracken, the 26-year-old Kansas City native, seeing colors while listening to music was a phenomenon that she thought everyone experienced. It wasn't until Melissa was 15 that she realized the incredible gift she had. Describing her musical synesthesia, Melissa shares:
Melissa has taken this "cross-wiring" of her brain and shared the vibrance that she sees in the world with people through her paintings.
When asked how she sees the colors, Melissa responded: "It just floats there in a similar way to how you would imagine something or visualize a memory. I don't need to close my eyes but it helps me visualize it better if I do."
When speaking about what music is more interesting to paint, Melissa shared that expressive music such as blues or funk is much more interesting to paint than an acoustic singer-songwriter on solo guitar. Melissa also shared that country music tends to have more muted, brown tones, so it doesn't come out as interesting as other songs. Factors that impact the colors and structure of a painting include instrumentation, tone, melodic lines, rhythm and key, to name a few.
Melissa has experimented painting the same song along with another artist with synesthesia, and they discovered that they experienced completely different colors, proving how subjective it can be. Melissa particularly enjoys analyzing the paintings of Kandinsky, another artist with synesthesia.