Syn Response: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

Warning! This post is long and not necessarily comprehensible. In brief, I have synesthesia, and one type is my sound- syn. Specifically, I see (in my mind’s eye) colors and shapes for music and sounds. I don’t always notice it, but it’s there. Today I found a post asking what synesthetic response we got from Ed Sheeran’s voice in the video linked (his song “I See Fire” from the Hobbit soundtrack). The music and his voice alone inspire chills, of course, but my syn added on to it. It’s a simple song, so there’s not much going on, but it’s also got a lot. Let’s see if I can explain. This post may be edited later, too.


The background remains pure white, like in movies when someone is in a “nowhere” realm.

His voice – many a description

His voice starts out light and white, but somehow still distinct from the background. Maybe it has a smidge of off-white or a very pale cream.

His initial vocals are a yellow-ish like an acoustic guitar. His lower voice is a beautiful orange – rich but not bright – or a darker, muted, but still rich brown. His higher harmony tends toward a brighter medium blue, but it’s smaller physically than the orange. Sometimes it shifts to white. All of these colors are in my mind, but if I drew them on paper, the would be angled diagonally from top left to bottom right. I would push the orange blob – maybe 2 inches wide in my mind and a foot long in length – to the middle of the page (vertically and horizontally), then shift it slightly to the right.

(When things are shifted like that, to either side or whatever, it feels like a slight weight over my eye and temple, as if a cloth had been laying there and was now removed but you can still feel it and need to rub the spot or even it out somehow to make it go away. Even thinking about it now is doing it.)

The white tends to stay pressed up against the bottom side of the orange with the blue clinging right along the top edge. The width of the white varies, and it’s length is nearly as long as the orange. The blue is thin – maybe a centimeter in width. It’s less than half as long as the orange and stays from about Inch 2 to Inch 5 on the orange. It’s also got a slight dip in in, as water does when two drops start to separate on a windshield.

The blue sometimes fades out and is replaced by white, and sometimes the white shifts up to the blue’s spot. It keeps it’s own size but moves location and leaves it’s original spot empty.

Towards the end of the song, his the orange gets muddled with a muted brown-grey. It covers the top few inches of the orange and continues on up above it, slightly more rounded out. This is another layer of his voice, I think. It’s hard for me to hear it, but I can see that something changed.


The strumming of the guitar comes in a lot towards the middle and end and it lends a medium-grey mixed with a hint of dry dirt brown – kind of the color of dark gravel or wet cement, but prettier. It borders the top of the orange and goes at an angle from top right to bottom left. It’s about 4-5 inches in length and about 3 in width and is more squared-off at the ends, whereas the other colors so far described are more of a long oval shape. Later some of this grey runs down along the orange, where it and the white border. Primarily it stays at the top, though, and then at the foot of this intrusive border. Once or twice it stretches out from this grey line into the orange from bottom left to top right, as if it wanted to make an F shape. It looks like it has a slightly rough texture, like sandpaper or like it’s grainy but there’s no texture I feel, and it looks pretty.

The picking on the guitar is white and light oranges, yellows, and browns. Sometimes touches of light blue and a dark black on the higher notes and such. So beautiful. They appear in small circles primarily at the top and slightly to the left of center of my vision, and they appear as low as center or a touch below that throughout the song.


What sounds like violins to me (I’m bad at picking out instruments) add a muted crimson, very refined in taste. It exists about an inch or so from the top of the page, just right of the center (y-axis). It has an even edge on the top, and it extends about 3-5 inches to the right. The bottom, however, is rounded and moving. It extends down randomly, as if a line of blood had dripped down in spots. But it moves up and down instead of dripping all the way down and such. From top to bottom, occupies a space of about 2 inches.


The wonderful rush of sound at about four minutes into the song is a building wave of grey, starting from the center (horizontally) and a fourth of the way down. It starts at that point and spreads up and out so that by the end the top is completely filled with the grey (which has gotten slightly darker). It has the shape of one of a ginkgo leaf, but smooth at the top instead of rippled. And it’s composed of tiny little dots, like a fine, subtle shimmer but not shimmering.

Percussion tends to stay dark grey or black (heck, if that’s even percussion I’m hearing!) and at the bottom right. Two spots the size of a quarter (on paper). The first is at the bottom, just a smidge up from the edge and about an inch in from the right side. Then it disappears and reappears about an inch or inch and a half to the left, closer to the center. Back and forth they go. The second one seems to have a swath of white around it’s lower left.

It’s hard to get all of what I’m seeing down, but I think that, overall, this is the most precise and inclusive description of sound-syn I’ve ever been able to give.


2 thoughts on “Syn Response: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

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