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Colors

February 16, 2009

The Color of Music

We all hear with our ears, but there's a small minority of people who seem to hear with their eyes too. They see colors when they hear music. It's called synesthesia. Hour one of today's show is all about the phenomenon, featuring interviews with synesthetes and the scientists who have studied them, plus music by synesthetic composers.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for thirty days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Alexander Scriabin
    "Vers la Flamme" ("Toward the Flame")
    Pianist Ruth Laredo
  • Robert Schumann
    Preambule from "Carnaval," Op. 9
    Pianist Joyce Yang
    Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, Colorado
  • Felix Mendelssohn
    Scherzo from Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49
    Violinist Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Andrew Shulman, and pianist Joyce Yang
    Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, Colorado
  • Leonard Bernstein
    Divertimento for Orchestra
    National Orchestra Institute Philharmonic with conductor Jorge Mester
    University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  • Peter Torke
    "Yellow Pages" and "White Pages," from "Telephone Book"
    The Australia Ensemble
    University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia
  • Olivier Messiaen
    Prelude ("The Dove")
    Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard

hour 2

  • Traditional (Arranged by Andrew York)
    "Shenandoah"
    The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
    Kaul Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
  • Count Basie
    "Jumpin' at the Woodside"
    The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
    Kaul Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
  • John Philip Sousa
    "The Black Horse Troop"
    The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
    Kaul Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
  • Aaron Copland
    "Appalachian Spring"
    The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra with conductor Tanya Ratner
    St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, Houston
  • John Stafford Smith
    "The Star-Spangled Banner"
    Violinists Elena Urioste and Melissa White
    Sphinx Competition, Detroit
  • John Philip Sousa
    "George Washington Bicentennial March"
    The United States Marine Band with conductor Colonel Timothy W. Foley
    University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  • Andrew York
    "B&B"
    The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
  • Aaron Copland
    "Hoe Down," from "Rodeo"
    The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
    Kaul Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
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