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synesthete Sophie

When Sophie hears the musical note F Sharp she sees red. The colour red is, to her, the number 4. 4 is strong and scary. You see, cellist Sophie is a synesthete.

The dictionary says synesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another. Modern composer Michael Torke is a synesthete as were Rimsky-Korskov, Scriabin and probably Messiaen.

When Sophie's friend Li hears a piece of music, she sees shapes. Numbers have a gender. 9 is an old lady.

Photo:Synesthete Sophie , in her 'friendly' tartan dress...looking at her favourite 'friendly painting' ...The Street by NZ artist Gary Freemantle

For copyright reasons this audio does not have the music featured in the original programme.