Dev Hynes (aka the man behind Blood Orange) gave a TED Talk last week to discuss his synesthesia, which is a neurological phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sense automatically leads to an involuntary stimulation of another sense. In Hynes’ case, he sees colors when he hears music. He’s not the only musician with the condition, either — Aphex Twin, Billy Joel, Duke Ellington, and Marina from Marina And The Diamonds have all self-identified as synesthetes.
“The way it works for me is my sight and sound senses are combined. Every sound I associate with a color and every color I associate with a sound,” Hynes said at the Vancouver conference. “The way I see things is constant streamers across the room, bouncing off from every touch and every sound. Over the years, I’ve learned what color palates I love most.”
The talk isn’t available online yet, but you can read some more details over at Spin. This isn’t the first time Hynes has talked about how his condition impacts his music: he gave a similar talk at NYU last year and has opened up about it in few interviews.