Events | Seeing Sound: Synaesthesia – The Sixth Sense

  • Location: Babington House, Somerset, BA11 3RW
  • Date: 18.03.17 | 8pm
  • Soho House Members only: Members please book as per below; non-members please contact Nick Nelson –
  • Book Now: Please email Antonella:
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Synaesthetes possess and kind of extra-sense, a sixth sense, which enables them to have a holistic perception of reality, experiencing more vivid emotions. Recent brain scans show activity in regions for hearing and colour vision occur simultaneously, hence a synaesthete can ‘hear colour and ‘see sound.’ In the early twentieth century, artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee sought new modes of expression, which often chimed with the music of their day, namely atonal dissonance as pioneered by Arnold Schoenberg. In this way, artists and musicians embarked on a parallel journey into the realms of abstraction. In the case of Kandinsky and Schoenberg, their theory of correspondences was shared through their mutual synaesthetic experiences. More recently, contemporary artists like Ali Banisadr have charted their synaesthetic experiences in relation to, for example, the Iran-Iraq war, leading to a pioneering mode of abstract representation. This colourful lecture seeks to answer several fascinating questions about this relatively rare neurological phenomenon. What percentage of people have synaesthesia? What is it like? Is it a hindrance or a gift? Is it inherent from birth? Does it relate to genetics? Can one ‘acquire’ it? Come along and endeavour to find out. Who knows, you may even find that you are synaesthetic!

For more information about this event: please email