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The Color of Music

For the record, I can’t write music even if my life depended on it.

A single note takes a million years and symbols hang windy as rags on staff. I’d rather collect and gamble my thoughts on scribbling potraits of rectangular interfaces. At first it was a struggle and only now I accept that writing music I can’t read and reading music I can’t write is a weakness I can only afford to embrace. Then I discovered the secret weapon: a paintbrush. The very same van Gogh and Picasso tool that pushes oil on canvas.

It’s like, when the engaged duo within demand my attention, I see music in colors and set to loose myself to conduct and paint melodies with nothing but a bristle-headed-stick. Unknown to me, this may be synesthesia: the errs-and-awes of seeing things. I see reds and grays in haze when I listen to a John Dankworth piece, or the orchestral palette of J. Ralph as a million butterflies in technicolor, cradling in darkness like fireflies. And when I make music, paintbrush in hand, imperfect brush strokes invade silence.

Even though my album artworks are the colors I see in my music, I’m fully convinced that the music that’s out of tune makes the most vibrant colors one might wish to dream about. Kids master the art. For some people, the color of music is the smell of naartjie peels in Autumn, others feel feathers in their tummies and the air tastes like mud: for color is but of senses. If we wake up tomorrow and see the world in black-and-white, we shall still see the color of music.