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Some space oddities
Major Tom, by Peter Schilling came on the radio while I was driving the goober child back from school this morning. (I could talk about her "school", it's quite a nifty little program, but perhaps another day.)

I will absolutely admit that Davide Bowie's Space Oddity is a "better" song. It's more complex, more nuanced, more subtle, all the things that tend to make for good art (or good food, too, funnily enough). The Schilling song is just pure 80's synth pop junk, but it's the version I encountered first, and I'll always love it in a different way, even if it's not as "good" as the Bowie song. I also realized today, as I was listening to it, that certain parts, especially the vocals in the chorus, hit my synesthesia in a really good way.

Now that I'm consciously aware that I have sound>touch synesthesia (that is, certain sounds are tactile to me in an almost literal way) I've started to notice that many songs I like "for no reason" trigger the synesthesia strongly. Not all sounds, and not all music does, but some things do. Certain harmonies, certain... gods, it's hard to put into words. Certain "textures" to sounds. See, we don't have words for it other than "texture" or "sound", neither of which is quite right. When a sound has a texture in a certain way? There's a certain kind of guitar distortion that really does it, for example. (Guns N' Roses, Sweet Child O' Mine's famous guitar riff is a good example of the exact kind I mean) and a lot of 80s synth stuff tends to as well. Also brass instruments, not tuba, but sometimes trombone, often french horn, and a certain tone of trumpet, especially in the higher registers. Things that are...clear but also fuzzy? Metallic? It's hard to name the quality that does it, but all those things have it in common. Close harmony does it sometimes regardless of instrument, it's an interaction thing. A single note without any fuzz or distortion or whatever you call the vibratory quality of brass instruments can't do it, pure tones are furthest from it, but too much distortion isn't right either. (Part of why I had such a hard time getting into metal, I think, a lot of metal gets very far into the distortion, and away from clear tones and clear vocals. Though I've always liked symphonic metal. Plenty of Nightwish does the thing.)

I think people very into ASMR might understand. Though it's not the ASMR whisper, but there's just a very specific kind of quality to a sound that does the thing. It's not the ASMR frisson, but it's like it. It's more...an impact on the skin? A feeling of metallic drops that are also crystalline and also warm and fuzzy and... Eh. So hard to put into words! And the distinct guitar notes in Sweet Child O' Mine are definitely drops, while the synth + vocals in Major Tom is more like just having that texture rubbed all over me.

But yeah. I never used to know that most people don't literally feel music. Why wouldn't you, it's a vibration, right? Sound is tactile, right? It took a long time to realize that it's not tactile in that way for most people.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1506077.html.