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Have you ever felt and tasted music? Have you ever seen colors in your mind, standing  before your eyes while listening to music? No, this is not about a metaphor, it’s about an esoteric amalgam of musical exchanges, a real capability- the capability of colored hearing: sounds, music or voices seen as colors. It is as if the senses are mixed together into one complete whole. For example, when you hold a rose, you see the colors, you see its shape, you smell its scent, and you feel its texture. Your brain manages to bind all of these perceptions together into one concept of the rose. This sounds as Synesthesia, which means that certain quality in music causes the synaesthete to experience a colour.

Let’s take a Synesthesia experiment while listening to Antony and the Johnsons.  Check yourself, see your imaginary picture and associate the harmonizing, contrasting or complementary colors with the sounds. Listen to the piano notes and see your responses to them, all clearly illustrated by the music. Begin with Everything is New, where moments of love poetry emerge through a warm palette of affectionate tapestry analogized to the album’s warm and vivid cover artwork.The sound is so one of subtlety, tenderness and beauty as well as in tracks I’m in love and Thank You For Your Love and make me feel like I’m tasting strawberries or smelling jasmin. It’s that melodic aspect in these tracks  that makes also this album so accessible to popular mainstream demand that I dare to sound blaspheme to say that Antony risks his reputation in shake of melodramatic success. Let’s accept it as Antony Hegarty ‘s optimistic moments and keep on carrying the experiment of sensory fusion.

Antony ‘s vocal melodies keep winding beautifully their way in tracks The spirit was gone and The Great White Ocean in a different way. The old beloved motives of sadness and death are profound again painted with the same palette as before. Their musical roots are the same of  the vulnerable and esoteric eccentricity of Antony and the Johnsons. Antony Hegarty’s peculiar, tremolo voice ranges from tragic to epic. This is sir Anthony ‘s theatrical aesthetic, which to my ears works quite well: it makes me think that we can travel from dreams to nightmares easily, two complementary and not opposite states – a nightmare can be also considered as a beautiful and passionate dream. Therefore, it seems his ghost and old darkness is abandoning him as he is singing in Ghost «Ghost, leap from my heart and find your way / Taste the our shadow’s memory» in a both uplifting and melancholic melody at the same time .

It goes without saying that the jewel of the album is Fletta, a surprising duet with Björk. Antony takes to the shadows, allowing Björk’s voice to leave her own idiosyncratic boot on the tune. It is built up around slow piano lines at the beginning and ends up with sounds like a heart beating too fast.

In general Swanlights is a bittersweet modern classical album of  almost calm and fluid canvases of sound overflowing with vivid imagery songs on which you can test your synaesthetic tendencies.So are you a synaesthetic? Test your rate now and if you are, you ‘ll just have to associate everything in your life with certain colors and sounds.

1. Everything is New, 2. The Great White Ocean, 3. Ghost, 4. I’m In Love, 5. Violetta, 6. Swanlights, 7. The Spirit Was Gone, 8. Thank You For Your Love, 9. Flétta (with Björk), 10. Salt Silver Oxygen, 11. Christina’s Farm

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