Artist With Synesthesia Paints Music The Way She Sees It

The world is very different for those with synesthesia, but arguably much more beautiful. With colors and texture swirling around her mind when she hears music, synesthete Melissa McCracken invites us into her fascinating brain with this series of musical paintings. While she listens to songs, she expresses the way she sees them with acrylic paints. Based in Kansas City, MO McCracken allows her brain to interpret her favorite songs while her hand puts them to canvas.

In her bio, McCracken explains her experience with synesthesia, “Until I was 15, I thought everyone constantly saw colors. Colors in books, colors in math formulas, colors at concerts. But when I finally asked my brother which color the letter C was (canary yellow, by the way) I realized my mind wasn’t quite as normal as I had thought. Basically, my brain is cross-wired. I experience the “wrong” sensation to certain stimuli. Each letter and number is colored and the days of the year circle around my body as if they had a set point in space. But the most wonderful “brain malfunction” of all is seeing the music I hear. It flows in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if it were a vital and intentional element of each song. Having synesthesia isn’t distracting or disorienting. It adds a unique vibrance to the world I experience.”

You can see more work by Melissa McCracken on her website and Facebook. Prints are available for purchase on Etsy.

Above: Radiohead – Lucky Below: David Bowie – Life On Mars?

John Lenon – Imagine

Prince – Joy In Repetition

Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing


Soulive – Interlude II

John Mayer – Gravity

Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You

Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight

Radiohead – Karma Police

Glass Animals – Flip

Airhead – Callow


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