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I See Words in Color

for mixed chorus a cappella

1st Place Winner of the NOTUS Composition Competition 2018

text by Kristin Vegh



The text for “I See Words in Color…” is taken from the poem Synesthesia written by one of my dearest friends, Kristin Vegh. I see Kristin’s poem as an intimate glimpse into her own experience with synesthesia, seeing the hues inherent in certain letters, and entire spectrums of colors hidden within words. It was my wish to take this sensory synthesis a step further with my piece, and supply the musical soundscape for what it would be like to not only see the color of words, but hear those colors brought to life in a fully, synesthetic experience of poetry, color, words, and music. It is with great admiration that I set the text of one of my most brilliant life long friends. “I See Words in Color…” is written for and dedicated to the poet. To Kristin: this piece is my way of thanking you your beautiful palette of words and your years of vibrant, colorful friendship.

I’ll always ask what you’re writing.



by Kristin Vegh

Today my words are green;

I asked if you knew

that phrases have a color

and letters a hue.

When you couldn’t see it,

I didn’t know what to do.

If I see words in color,

then you should, too.

I searched for years

for anyone who

read books in color.

I’ve found a few.

Their colors are different,

their palettes new.

But I kept their swatches,

and my spectrum grew.

I wish I could say

that everyone knew

that every word has a color,

each letter a hue.

A long time from now,

when our days are few,

you’ll ask what I’m writing,

and I’ll answer blue.

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