The Color of Sound
16″ x 20″ oil on canvas
I’m fascinated with the phenomenon of synesthesia. Synesthesia is the neurological experience of the activation of uncommon sensory regions of the brain. A good example is seeing sound or tasting color. This piece explores the visual experience of sound waves from a single spoken word. It has been said that the spoken word can cause changes in every level of our existence from our thoughts to the function of our bodies. Contemplating this idea, I explored the seven chakras and the seven levels of interconnectedness I have to this world.
In Cherokee, there is a word, Gvgeyuhi that expresses an experience between people. Gvgeyuhi is a complex experience comprising of multiple dimensions. The first layer is “ I see you” in a complete sense of seeing someone’s mind, heart, and soul. The next layer is “I accept you” and also “I embrace you”. Followed by “I give you my full attention” and “I am grateful for your presence” and “ I welcome you” and lastly “I am selfish with you”. In comparison to the English langue, there isn’t a single word that is an exact translation. The closest English interpretation is “Loving Presence”.
I began this complete embodied exploration while speaking and recording Gvgeyuhi into an IPhone application. The results allowed me to see the sound wave pattern of my voice. Before I spoke, I contemplated the multidimensional meanings of each chakra, my connection and the relationship to gvgeyuhi or “loving presence”. I spoke the word a total of seven times. The result is a visual reproduction of the energy as color as released from the 7 chakras through the sound waves of my spoken word. This is the color of loving presence.
The Awiya Project donated this piece to an outreach community center in Lincoln, Nebraska.