top of page

The Full Story

...and I realised that I also connected colours to sounds, but intellectually, not with the eyes. In fact, when I hear or read music, I always see colour complexes in my mind that go with the sound complexes - Oliver Messiaen.

Welcome to ‘Hearing Music, Seeing Colour’, an Arts Council England, Creative Minds, Project 14 and Barnsley Music Service funded project which explores music composition, visual art and community collaboration; exploring how individuals find a stimulus for creativity.


This project evoked an investigation into the  experience of musicians / artists with a certain type of  synaesthesia called Chromesthesia (when one sense comes through as another and quite often a person will hear music as colour and vice versa)  alongside non synaesthetes, who may associate a certain colour or texture with a particular sound or pitch, or experience limited connection to colour as a stimulus. 


Workshops in Barnsley were launched in January 2022, with an opening exhibition and concert in May 2022.


Much more is planned in 2023, follow the journey here!


There are many different forms of Synaesthesia. Common ones include:

  • Grapheme-color synesthesia. Certain letters or numbers are associated with specific colors.

  • Sound-to-color synesthesia. This is when certain sounds cause you to see shapes of different colors.

  • Lexical-gustatory synaesthesia. Certain words or sounds evoke different tastes.

Seeing Music, Hearing Colour worked with Synaesthetic artists from around the world.

Artists from the community groups involved in the project were non synaesthetes.  Workshops investigated whether these participants assigned a certain pitch to a colour, for example was yellow commonly perceived as a higher sound, and darker colours as a lower sound?. The Results were interesting and surprising!

pro 14Picture 1.png
bottom of page