Quotes about Voice-Color Synesthesia

Welcome to my page of quotations about sensing colors in voices — you may have heard of this as sound-to-color synesthesia, chromesthesia, or color-hearing. These quotes are specifically about colors of the human voice. See also my page of quotes about poetical, artistic, & metaphorical voice color and quotes about the color of words. –ღTerri

I know everyone’s voice from everyone else’s in a way that’s almost impossible to describe. There’s a weird clarity to it — like each voice is a ribbon, stretched out, glittering, unique in its color, depth, variety. I hear them like hearing is seeing. Trey has a purple voice, low and dark and deep… ~Rachel DeWoskin, Blind, 2014

He has suddenly, without a word of warning, gone in for Art. He paints portraits. You never saw such things — blots, and smears, and a regular mess. He does nothing but blether about tones, and values, and the colors of sounds. He says that Agnes has a pink voice, and he painted her voice. Everything about it is pink — except her face, and that is violet. He says that he sees her that way. He painted another woman as ‘The Purple Smile.’ ~Pearl Mary-Teresa Richards Craigie, The School for Saints, 1897 [A little altered. Published under Mrs Craigie’s pseudonym, John Oliver Hobbes. –tg]

In another place, at another time, Alette Peters could have been a successful artist. As far back as she could remember, her senses were tuned to the nuances of color. She could see colors, smell colors and hear colors. Her father’s voice was blue and sometimes red. Her mother’s voice was dark brown. Her teacher’s voice was yellow. The grocer’s voice was purple. The sound of the wind in the trees was green. The sound of running water was gray. ~Sidney Sheldon, Tell Me Your Dreams, 1998

The best voices, whether blue or green or lavender, are full of flashes of light. ~John Rummell, “The Color of Sound,” in Werner’s Magazine, October 1897

Your sound is your voice color, and your voice color is your sound. ~David Love, The Colors of Voices, 2011 [Love, who lost his sight at age seven, experiences sounds, numbers, etc. as colors. –tg]

When someone spoke he would see colours escaping their mouth… like grass after having been dragged through the mud on a rainy day, a murky green; or, his girlfriend’s voice, a motherly tone, bland pink. He knew his own voice was a red, the colour of a ruby lost in mist, a hazy red. His favorite singer made the most beautiful purple tones he’d ever seen; he loved the colours of music. ~Wolfette Nightingale, “The Colour of Your Voice,” 2017

Fœdric is a scholar and is engaged in writing a treatise on the color of sounds. He was attracted to that subject by the fact that he possesses in a striking degree the faculty of hearing color, which belongs only to refined minds. We all have this power to some extent, but there are great differences among us. The doctor’s voice is dark blue, while yours is yellow. Fœdric, a true son of Mars, speaks red, and as for Zenith, her soft, pink voice has always been one of her principal charms. Antonia’s voice is a beautiful green. ~James Cowan, “Again the Moon,” Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World, 1896 [a little altered –tg]

I have to rely on my friends to tell me the shade of my own voice, for to my ears it is as colorless as a piece of the clearest glass. ~James Cowan, “Again the Moon,” Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World, 1896

It is very often possible to tell the nationality of an individual by the color of his voice alone. The English and German voices are commonly red or reddish-brown, while the French voice, especially in men, is very frequently green. The Italian voice is rather darker, being tinted with blue, lavender or indigo. Of course, there are exceptions to all these types. ~John Rummell, “The Color of Sound,” in Werner’s Magazine, October 1897 [a little altered –tg]

There are, in fact, persons who are endowed with such sensibility that they can not hear a sound without at the same time perceiving colors. This phenomenon, “color-hearing,” as the English call it, has been hitherto little observed…. For one subject, the human voice gives multifarious impressions. The vowels i and e produce the most lively colors, a and o less defined ones, u a dark tint, and diphthongs combined colors. ~Henri de Parville, “Association of Colors with Sounds,” 1883