Want to know what colour sounds like? New Google tool lets you experience synesthesia

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An almost psychedelic new Google tool lets you “hear colours and shapes”, as many great artists do.

Most of us think of yellow as the colour of the sun. Red, perhaps the colour of a tomato, and blue, that of a clear sky.

But what if you could actually hear colour?

Wassily Kandinsky, who pioneered abstract art in the early 20th century, had a rare trait called synaesthesia, which blurs the senses and allowed the Russian painter to associate colours with certain sounds and moods.

Red, he heard as a violin; yellow, as a trumpet; and blue, the sound of a heavenly organ.

Kandinsky wasn’t alone in his understanding of colours. Some of art and music’s most famous names, from Van Gogh to Franz Liszt and Billie Eilish, all have synaesthesia in common.

Now, Google Arts & Culture has launched a new tool to allow you to experience what Kandinsky might have heard when painting.

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