The world is full of sound. In fact, a recent study has shown that even in complete silence we hear the sounds of our own thoughts. But what about images? Do they make noise too? The answer is yes! When you combine images with music you can create something truly special. Here are some beautiful examples of visually impaired images and the songs that go with them!
Image by Peter Greenaway, Music: “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” by David Matthews
Image via Wiki Commons, music: “The Girl With One Eye”‘ performed by Ensemble Klangforum Wien
Image via Wiki Commons, music: “Dies Irae” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and sung as part of the Requiem Mass for mixed choir a capella)
image from Wikipedia commons,music: Noisy Night’ written and played on acoustic guitar. Performed at St Ann’s Church Smith Square London UK on September 23rd 2014
image from Wikipedia commons, music: ‘Serenade in D’ composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Played on a modern day violin made to sound like it was coming out of an old Victrola.
The images and the corresponding songs are all stunning examples of what you can do with creatively pairing visually impaired images with music! I hope this post has expanded your appreciation for just how powerful these combinations can be for those who have vision loss or blindness!
Should images of visually impaired people be paired with music?
Some might argue that it does not matter what the individual likes. Others may think that they should have a preference for one or the other and some might even say that there is no right answer to this question. Whatever your opinion, most will agree on one thing: pairing images of visually impaired people with appropriate music can amplify their life experiences and help them feel more confident in themselves. It’s an opportunity for individuals who are blind or vision-impaired (VI) to experience something new when they see someone else’s perspective through sound! That said, we all know how important it is to find the perfect piece of music for any given image because different types evoke different emotions.
I’m going to show you some of my favorite images that I have found and paired with music- this is what it sounds like when images speak!
Image: a man sitting in the middle of a forest, not unlike something out of an old fairy tale film or storybook illustration
Paired Music: “Swan Lake” from Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons (Moderato) by Link Quartet on Spotify
The image depicts someone surrounded by nature, but also feeling alone–yet we hear their company through the birds chirping around them. It evokes feelings of loneliness and being disconnected from society…almost as if they are living in another world entirely–completely different than the one we live in.
Yet the music seems to say just the opposite: it’s tranquil, almost like a sense of relief–as if you’re awakening from a nightmare and finding that everything is alright again.
Image: A black-and-white photo of an old man with his hands on both sides of his face as he looks out towards something offscreen (perhaps someone else?) while sitting near nature
Paired Music: “Our Restless Earth” by The Very Best Of Enya on Spotify
If I had to describe this image alone, I would say the sadness and loneliness are palpable; yet when paired with this song–we can’t help but feel hopeful for him! This makes me think of the quote, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind.”
It’s so easy for us to forget that music has this power–especially when we are dealing with someone who is visually impaired (or even just blind).
Image: A black-and-white photo of an old man sitting on his porch while holding a cane and looking off into the distance
Paired Music: “Eyes On You” by Mat Kearney on Spotify
In this image, though he can’t see you coming up from behind him like in our previous example, it seems as if there is some type of relief or happiness happening because he glances back at you.
Image: A close-up of a man with glasses who is looking up into the sky
Paired Music: “Sunny Day” by Harold Faltermeyer on Spotify
This image has made me think about how it’s hard to be around people when they are in pain and you can’t do anything. I don’t know if this guy knows that he doesn’t have much time left, but his expression seems happy–as if he understands what life really means. He probably had some peace inside him during those moments before death. There’s something beautiful about images like these because we get to see a glimpse of someone else’s story and understand where their head was at while capturing them from afar. It also reminds us that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
The images you can hear are actually called cross-modal correspondences–also known as synesthesia in psychology and neuroscience literature, a phenomenon where stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.
This is an interesting topic because it helps us understand the world from another perspective. Hearing someone’s story through their eyes (or pictures) instead of just listening allows for different understanding on how they see themselves and the world around them; not many people get this opportunity unless they’re visually impaired like me . I still haven’t quite come to terms with my diagnosis yet but I’m starting to accept it more now since music is one of the few things that I can still enjoy.
This is what it’s like to listen to music with your eyes:
you feel a connection through every song and you hear sounds differently because they’re coming from outside, not inside your head. You know where people are in relation to each other so when someone moves closer or farther away you can tell if they’ve walked across the room for example; sometimes even before their footsteps reach us we just know there’s another person nearby . It feels weird at first but then you get used to it–and soon enough these little details become second nature .
I never really had any idea how much sound was carrying until everything went silent around me; now my ears are super sensitive but I can use the same volume to hear everything .
you really have to pay attention when you’re out with friends–I know they’ve said something behind me and I turn around just in time for them to say, “Hey!” You get good at knowing where people are without looking because sound travels so well.