Elvin Jones Documentary

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Mike_In_KC

Guest
I watched a super cool documentary about Elvin Jones last night on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1xMVmLbWk&feature=kp

Although admittedly all of the playing excerpts were light years over my head the part of the interview when Mr. Jones described each sound that is emitted from his drums and cymbals as a color or collection of colors hit close to home. At the risk of comparing myself to an all time great all I will say is that I can relate to the color thing. Does anyone else associate colors with their drums? Associate is not the right word - does anyone FEEL colors or taste colors when they play? I promise I am lucid and cogent right now ;-)
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
always loved that piece

it captures the essence of Elvin well

Elvin had a variation of Synesthesia called Chromesthesia (sp?)

he always spoke in colors when referring to sounds... and though I do not have this I somehow always knew what he was talking about
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
That's one thing that I don't get. Drummers (and sales ads) are always referring to adding "colors" and "textures". No, they're sounds. Drums and cymbals (and percussion accessories) produce sounds.
 
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Mike_In_KC

Guest
WOW - I have not seen that word "Chromesthesia" in a long time! I had a bad head injury several years ago - for several weeks after the injury sounds would cause me to "see" colors. Loud, sudden sounds were disturbing, some softer sounds were almost pleasing. Just when I started to get adjusted to the situation it went away. Fast forward to now - sometimes when I am playing a groove and using the ride cymbal to keep time I will start to see colors again - but it is fleeting. Playing drums is the only thing that I have done since the injury to "trigger" the condition. There is something going on for sure.

I believe that Elvin Jones almost for sure "suffered" or "enjoyed" Chromesthesia - I say suffered because I remember like yesterday how disturbing it was at times.

The brain is awesome.

MM
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
I have heard this from other musicians as well; Joni Mitchell would ask her musicians to play a certain color to get the feel she wanted; since she is a painter as well it makes perfect sense to me. It' a gift.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I get what you might describe as "shapes" from sounds especially if I close my eyes. Not usually colors but sometimes, generally in the range of gray to red. The sound of the air conditioner going above me looks sort of like gray strings flowing through each other. I do weirdly associate people I know with colors. Like if I think about a buddy guitar player I'm around a lot, I get a "sense" of the color sort of rust red.

I asked my girl the other night what she sees when she closed her eyes. She said "nothing... Just black..." I don't really get that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I asked my girl the other night what she sees when she closed her eyes. She said "nothing... Just black..." I don't really get that.
It's because she's lying. When she closes her eyes, everyone (except you) knows it's Phil she is seeing. Sorry I can't stand to see her make a chump out of you. Phil needs to pay for this.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
It's because she's lying. When she closes her eyes, everyone (except you) knows it's Phil she is seeing. Sorry I can't stand to see her make a chump out of you. Phil needs to pay for this.
Oh, I didn't mean to mislead anyone... Of course I also see phil when I close my eyes.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
At John Blackwells clinic last week he was explaining that he had perfect pitch, which according to one of his early teachers was wasted on a drummer, and he also said he hears sounds in color. C was black, and he named the rest of the scale. Quite intersting
 
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Mike_In_KC

Guest
At John Blackwells clinic last week he was explaining that he had perfect pitch, which according to one of his early teachers was wasted on a drummer, and he also said he hears sounds in color. C was black, and he named the rest of the scale. Quite intersting
Perfect pitch is a "side effect" of Chromesthesia - I think.
 
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