Hi, my name is Hector Ibarra, and I am a synesthete. Welcome to my blog, where I write about my experiences with synesthesia and music, both as a musician and a listener.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition which causes a person to experience one sense as one or more others. Though the cause of this condition is still being studied, it is very common and appears in many forms and is experienced by around one in every 2,000 people. Synesthetes, those who experience synesthesia, can “see” sound, “taste” color, associate colors with certain letters, numbers, or words, or can experience many other combinations of the senses.
What I personally experience can be best categorized as what is refered to as chromesthesia. As someone who did not completely lose vision until age ten, I had plenty of time to learn about what the world around me looks like, despite the last several years of that time being spent with very little usable vision. After losing what was left, I maintained what I refer to as phantom vision; an attempt by my brain to fill in the visual details of the world around me with my remaining senses. I have vivid memories of what I now know was synesthetic experiences when listening to music as a child before I lost my sight. These experiences became increasingly vivid once I lost my sight and music became something abstract, unlike the everyday objects and sounds that built my perception of the world around me. As I began to gravitate toward a career in music as I got older, the bond that these experiences created between myself and the instruments and music I worked with became more a part of me than what I think my missing sight would have been.
So I welcome you to take a look at music through my eyes, and I hope you enjoy your stay. Whether you find some new music you like or get a fresh perspective on a classic, I hope you’ll find something here!