Red has a range of symbolic meanings, including life, health, vigor, war, courage, anger, love, and religious fervor. The common thread is that all these require passion, and the "life force" that drives passion blood is red.
Reds: are strong leaders, fast-paced thinkers, risk-takers, purposeful, drivers, strong-willed, high energy, competitive, and rational. You may recognize many of the qualities in many leaders as they take ownership, need to be fast-paced in their thinking, take risks, and be purposeful and confident with it.
Red makes you feel passionate and energized. Red is the warmest and most dynamic of the colors—it triggers opposing emotions. It is often associated with passion and love as well as anger and danger.
Danger and Warning
The spiritual representation of red is power, energy, vitality, dominance, action, assertion, creation, survival, and passion.
Do you have a certain color pop up when you think of the number 5? Or maybe you relate objects to certain colors? Between 5 and 15% of adults have synesthesia (where you associate certain things with colors or even taste them.) The most common form of synesthesia is chromesthesia. Chromesthesia is a neurological condition where the brain sees colors in sounds. This type of synesthesia only affects 1 in 3,000 people.
Electronic dance music (EDM) encompasses a variety of subgenres, but one thing they have in common is that they get you moving on the dance floor. There’s a definite nightclub vibe to our EDM-themed living room, despite Michael’s rainbow array of colors.
Rachel’s response to EDM was more uniform, featuring a thunderstorm palette of moody Azure, Electric Purple, and Cyber Yellow.
“Heavy Metal is as aggressive on the front of my mind as it sounds — it’s really the Jackson Pollock of music genres. I enjoy Pollock’s paintings more than the Heavy Metal experience because listening to it is like I’m standing behind a transparent canvas, watching all the paint fly at my face and darken my peripheral vision. My instinct is to cringe and look away.” – Rachel
Jackson Pollock was an abstract expressionist who famously created his paintings using ‘action’ methods, such as splashing or pouring paint over his canvas in a kind of dance. “Heavy Metal is a bit of an abuse on my senses,” adds Rachel. “I actively avoid it in my day to day life.”
Michael, on the other hand, tends to hear the blacks and reds that we associate with heavy metal covers and stage shows. You know – black leather, chicken blood, the fires of hell, and so on. If you choose to incorporate these moody colors into your space, make sure you have enough natural light to counter it.
“I think Lo-Fi Hip Hop would be great for a living room because the colors are brighter and would provide a colorful, modern & positive color scheme for a living room.” – Michael
Lo-fi hip hop (aka chillhop) is muzak for the Miyazaki generation. Easy-listening beats can add a flavor to your surroundings, helping you to relax, study, or code (depending what you need right now). In fact, playing lo-fi hip hop in a room is almost an interior design decision in itself.
Appropriately, the colors chillhop evokes for our chromesthesia crew are gentle background shades. Pastels such as Abalone, Air Force, and Laurel look hand-picked from Hideo Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro and create an instant sense of ambient bliss in our lo-fi hip hop room.
“After I’m done my school day and before I sleep I like to lay in bed, close my eyes and listen to music,” adds Michael. “Just so I can sort of break the music down, break the colors down and hear every piece of it.”
Rap music conjured the most diverse range of colors of any genre in the minds of our participants. From Cream to Fire, Pearl River to Hot Pink, the colors cover the spectrum in both hue and intensity.
Perhaps this is because rap music utilizes so many different samples beneath the lyrics. Old soul tunes, children’s music, or songs from other contemporary genres all form part of rap’s musical palette. The rap room is designed for those who listen to the details and savor hip-hop’s eclectic nature.
You can’t help but think Ozzy Osbourne would be pleased by the extravagantly named colors that Under The Graveyard planted in our listeners’ minds: Tortilla, Tawny, and Champagne for Rachel, and “Artichoke with shadow accents, and small hits of crimson,” for Michael.
“Different instruments carry their own color,” says Rachel, “blending with the hue of the notes being played on them and with the way each artist plays that note. But these colors also have a sort of texture, like metallic, wet, velvets, speckled or smatterings of paint on a screen. The smoother the vocals, the more petal-like the sound.”
Perhaps this represents the simple, homogenous sonic palette of the genre: punchy drums, wailing guitars and gruff voices.
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