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Benjamin Finger - Auditory Colors [Krysali Sound - 2022]

Playing on the theme of synaesthesia, Norwegian sound artist Benjamin Finger mixes many different sources to craft the near hallucinatory Auditory Colors. As the name would imply, Finger sets out to give visual texture to sound art and create a multisensory work. Crafted with synths, piano, guitar, field recordings, and many other sources, crafting this experience for the listener is no easy task. Does Auditory Colors paint a vivid enough picture to see?

Synaesthesia is an interesting thing. Does it affect more people than we realize? When listening to an album and visualizing a landscape or seeing clouds drift when an ethereal voice comes into the mix, is that real or imagined? By constructing layers that work together to build a solid structure as well as by mixing different sources and textures, the interdimensional compositions have great opportunity to spill into other senses. Naturally, there is a real, physical connection between the sense of sound and touch (it is a moving wave after all), and if eyes were designed to pick up a different set of wavelengths, they'd be visible as well. However, the latter isn't the case, but does that not mean that the brain isn't "seeing" these waves without eyes? Auditory Colors aims for a little more than colors, with its many instruments and ghostly vocals, it shoots for full scenes...and succeeds. The way softness will fill out the details of a room and direct the path of light and shading certainly adds much depth to the scenes on display. Is this common? I think the real gem here (for me) is how music is analyzed or described. For instance, without bringing out the topic of synaesthesia, I would have described what imagery this album evokes - I do that for almost all my reviews. That comes out naturally. However, is this not the case for everyone? Looking at Auditory Colors not as a singular piece attempting synaesthesia, but more as the reason to question how we perceive sound; how many of our senses are actually working to give us our "listening" experience. If you can't taste without smell, can you listen without "sight"?

Benjamin Finger's Auditory Colors is a dream-like walk through many rooms and landscapes. Soft and evocative, these soundscapes have a smaller scope than the large, overarching pieces we're familiar with. Easier to compartmentalize and because of this, more familiar, the album gives the listener a chance to dig deep not only into the album, but into their own perception. To find out more drop by here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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