Art: Synesthete

When he was six, Ira Jean Belmont heard Schubert's Serenade and startled his mother by exclaiming, "It was beautiful, especially when I saw those green and blue and purple and all kinds of clouds passing by." His mother's surprise passed, but her son's sensitivity persisted. Whenever Belmont heard the clanging of church bells, the twittering of birds, the echoes of his own voice—multiple colors flashed before his eyes. In his 20s he took up portrait painting, but he kept mixing up sounds and colors. Finally, he submitted to the inevitable. Last week...

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