Several weeks ago, I was up in Vermont teaching at a music workshop that my friend, Akiko, and I launched last summer.  In the last week or so before Lyra began (that's the name of the workshop), we took on a new student who happened to have autism.  His verbal communication skills were not very strong, but it was obvious that music is the way that this young man is able to communicate best with the rest of the world.

One of Jacob's traits is synesthesia.  I didn't know what this was before I spoke with Jacob's mom about it, but it is a pretty fascinating phenomenon, shared by some of the major classical composers (Messaien, Scriabin, et al).  Basically, whenever Jacob hears a pitch, he also sees a color.  So when I played a G on the piano and asked what color it was, he said green, in a very matter of fact way.  The guy could not be fooled.  Every tone registered the same specific color each time he heard them, and was consistently so.  I thought the color might change if I played a G with a different dynamic, but nope.  When I asked Jacob  what color that was with a very soft G, he looked at me like, "Uh, c'mon lady. I just told you, it's green."  Interestingly enough, a soft G is dark green, and a loud G is a bright green.

Anyway, I decided that today I would play something very green.  It sounds a little more purple to me, but that's okay... I'm not gifted with synesthesia.

Here we go, Day 22:

Here's a photo of Jacob working with Jesse (my inspiration for the improv project) at Lyra.  Cool pic, no?