Amy Sequenzia, “Autistic and Epileptic, In a Rock Concert”

We at The Avid Listener are delighted to bring you an essay by a new author: Amy Sequenzia. Amy is an Autistic activist, writer, and poet. And if you know Amy, you also know she’s an avid fan of the Canadian band Headstones. In this essay, Amy brings together issues that both enrich and complicate live music experiences. She is synesthetic; sound, for Amy, is tied to color. Amy is also epileptic, and must think in advance about flashing lights and other triggers for her seizures. So Amy shares with us the details of her synesthetic experiences, as well as the accessibility measures that enable her to enjoy the rich sensory experience of a live concert.

Here’s a teaser: “…music has always been a synesthetic experience for me. I don’t only hear music, I see it. It doesn’t matter if I am in a concert hall, at home, in the car, or just passing by a place where music is playing; colors always come with the sounds. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon where stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in other sensory or cognitive pathways. There are several types of synesthesia. Mine is music/sounds to colors and movements. Some people who have similar experiences say it can be overwhelming. Some people don’t like the colors they see if they don’t like the music that is playing. Though I might not like the music itself, what I see never overwhelms or bores me.”

Amy’s essay (read the whole thing here) adds yet another layer to our on-going exploration of listening and musicking. We’ve got more on the way. Stay tuned for our November digest!

The Avid Listener: Listen. Write. Discuss. Repeat.

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