Synaesthesia is a neurological condition where a triggering of one sense also triggers another. People can experience synaesthesia differently, and scientists are still not sure exactly how many different types there are.
A common experience in those with synaesthesia is perceiving letters as colours. Daniel Liam Glyn, a Manchester composer, who has Grapheme Colour Synaesthesia, said: “I perceive musical notes and key signatures in colour along with letters, words and numbers.”
A move to London inspired Glyn to work on this project to portray his experience of London and his synaesthesia. The album, ‘Changing Stations’, was released in October 2016.
“I have composed each Underground line using the colour from the map and used the thoughts of feelings from each colour and underground journey when deciding my style for each piece.”
The songs on his album reflect different aspects of the commuter’s journey on the London tube. ‘Monday’ has the feel of constant frantic energy from the minor pulsing chords under eerie synth sounds.
‘Route C’ is a confusing amalgamation of sounds, notes and speech, reflecting the haphazard contrasts of the different stations on a line. The Northern line is represented in the song ‘Abode’, which starts as a wistful piano piece, the speed and volume ebbing and flowing, like the stop and starts of a tube train.
However, Glyn intends for his music to be seen as more than just an album. “It’s also an autobiographical story about how my brain works, the neuroscience behind my Synaesthesia and how it can invokes creativity for me to work on something musical,” he says.
“It showcases my love for London and the vast amount of diverse commuters…through the city each day. I hope to not only inspire other artists, but to also raise awareness for Synaesthesia across Manchester and all over.”
The album can be streamed on Spotify and you can find out more about the project on his website. Glyn is also on Twitter as @DanielLiamGlyn.