Auditory Colors is awash with synaesthesia – the crossing-over of the senses – which is described as ‘a sensorial-perceptive phenomenon in which certain stimuli evoke sensations of a different nature from that normally experienced’. When experiencing synaesthesia, it’s possible to see sounds and taste or feel colours – a condition which the late neurologist Oliver Sacks explored to great effect in his book, Musicophilia.
Over the space of eleven tracks, Benjamin Finger’s hazy synths merge with piano, guitar, field recordings, electronics, and floating, fogged-out vocals to capture the multiple-sense neurological condition. The senses aren’t normally connected to such an extent, if at all, and likewise, the varying strands of music, along with her differing elements, are able to converge, mixing into one another to form something intoxicating and extremely vibrant.
Synaesthesia is a wire-crosser. Experiences vary, but people are able to hear sounds while seeing coloured lights at the same time. Individual words and numbers can set off flavours and associated colours, and the vocals are able to morph into bright, shimmering colours of their own as they float through the airstream. Because of this, the music crosses over into the visual world, no longer restricted or chained to auditory channels. The music opens up, creating an added dimension to the sound. The dividing lines which distinguish one sense from another are smeared and then shattered.
On Auditory Colors, it’s possible to feel the melodies, see the flow of its trailing note-tails, and feel the breeze of the soft vocal as it tickles the ear; you can see them hovering and warbling overhead, and the music feels like a fantastical, liberating place of light and warmth. It brings listeners closer to the music, and an inquisitive, pleasant mood stays the course. Reverb-laced electronics swim through the track, and a gentleness runs throughout the album. Auditory Colors is a true sensory experience.