SYNESTHESIA IS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE COMPRISED OF SIX MOVEMENTS EACH INSPIRED BY A DIFFERENT STAGE OF LIFE. FROM BIRTH TO DEATH, SYNESTHESIA TAKES THE VIEW ON AN ABSTRACT JOURNEY THAT PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF VIRTUAL REALITY.
It begins with the flash of conception. A wash of wordless human voices envelop you — elemental, watery, warm. Gradually the voices take on form, line and direction, becoming more and more definite. They intensify and contract, and all of a sudden burst with the screaming harmonies of birth — the glare of the first light, the first air in the lungs, a welcome to our world.
This movement uses sound in imaginative, unpredictable ways to capture the mercurial faces of childhood. Instead of conventional ‘grown up instruments’, we substitute pots and pans for drums and a rubber-band guitar for the real thing. Childhood makes impractical demands. But the sense of play and possibility is inspiring, so we’re happy that we can, just for a few minutes, see through the eyes of a child again.
The unpredictability of childhood takes a darker turn in adolescence. On one hand, it is more rational than childhood, with clearer edges and methods, but hormones magnify its emotions to melodramatic proportions. Moods change swiftly and patterns break as fast as they’re established. Adolescence adopts some ’grown up’ musical and visual conventions but distorts and intensifies them. Peppered with crises and epiphanies, it is impatient, defiant, reckless and fun.
Maturity smooths the raw energy of youth into a rhythm — the rhythm of routine that carves out the grooves of our life. This movement favors gradual development over sudden epiphany. It makes no manifestos. The boundaries are clear, but the rhythm is satisfying, and the efficiency of repetition is seductive enough to propel us for decades.
5 OLD AGE
As the rhythms of life slow down, the definite lines and edges blur. Time that was organized in blocks and loops becomes an undifferentiated wash. As the body fails, clarity of sensation turns to atmospheric impressionism — shapes go fuzzy, sounds bleed together, a fog comes up. But under the fog passions burn strong. The pure feeling of a lifetime of experience and memory wells up, unencumbered by social expectations or conventions.
An otherworldly piano and violin sing a serenade for ghosts. Down below, a harmonium hums the drone of Absolute Reality.