This Artist Sees Sound — And He Wants You To See It Too

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 3:18pm

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Reyes Padilla synesthesia artwork at Mesa Arts Center
Sarah Ventre/KJZZ
Reyes Padilla at Mesa Arts Center.

For many of us, listening to music is a visceral experience. We don’t just hear it — we feel it too. But for some people with a condition called synesthesia, music isn’t just heard or felt, they can actually see it.

Synesthesia is when two of your senses are connected. For example, when you hear sound, you see colors or textures, or you see numbers as points in space. Some people with synesthesia even experience a taste in their mouths when they hear certain sounds.

Reyes Padilla is an artist based in New Mexico who has synesthesia, and he has an installation that’s opening Friday at Mesa Arts Center called Eras of Jazz: The Visual. The work is based on what he sees when he hears jazz music.

The Show caught up with him when he was creating the piece.

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