Popcorn or dirty socks?

Finding words for the sensate is one of our greatest linguistic challenges. The description is on the tip of our tongues, brushing the edges of our sensory memories, tingling in our fingertips. Often the sensory doesn’t need description – a delicious meal eaten in silent appreciation, someone’s pain written in the creases of their face….

Adrià’s Synaesthesia

What would the note B look like if you would have to give the note a colour? And the E? Synaesthesia comes in many different forms. ‘Hearing’ colours seems to be most common among musicians. There are also people who see colours when tasting food. When given the choice, we all can learn a little…

Alternative Flute Experiments

One of my recurring nightmares is to wake up deaf. Music plays such an important role in my life, I couldn’t imagine living without it! Yet, many people with impaired hearing are also musicians: being deaf and enjoying music is therefore not mutually exclusive. I decided to test the alternative forms of hearing that these…

The Taste of a Strawberry

I love strawberries. They are cute and on hot summer days they give me a welcomed hint of freshness. I usually don’t think too much about what they taste like. They are just so tasty that I eat them all in a rush. But why do I actually like them? Is it that bit of…

Listening without hearing #2

Beethoven was deaf. His hearing capacities decreased gradually and he spent the last eight years of his life in complete silence, and composed his 9th symphony during these years. Legend says that he used a wooden stick in his mouth with which he recorded the vibrations of his piano. Isn’t it amazing that someone without…

Non-sense

“Fumms bö wö tää zää Uu, pögiff, kwii Ee” With this sentence, Kurt Schwitters marked the beginning of his sound poem: ‘Ursonate’. Putting it mildly, it was not exactly what the literary salons expected in 1922. In 2016, DADAism turned 100. A good moment to let my little sister hear the Ursonate, so I thought….

Listening without hearing

At the academy of music I was reprimanded for moving while playing. My flute teacher told me it impeded my sound quality. He suggested that I close my eyes while playing. This changed making music entirely: I felt the energy shifting away from my body and towards the sound. Closing my eyes improved my playing….

Home sweet home

The Dutch saying “apple pie in the oven, house sold!”, reveals the value of baking an apple pie when possible buyers visit your house. The pie will make your place feel a little more like home. A smell can bring back memories, just like taste can trigger forgotten ones. Vlaai For many Limburgers, Appelvlaais remind…

Feel the dance

Perhaps you know the feeling: standing at the bar and feeling unsure. Should I enter the dance floor or not? When I do, my uncertainty immediately disappears. Dancing doesn’t seem to be about thinking. Nor is dance a visual activity. Is dancing about listening then? No; deaf people can enjoy dancing too. So, why does it move us so much? In dancing, I…

Welcome!

Hi there, and welcome to our blog about the senses! Who are we?   We are Hanna Hesemans and Lucie Marraffa, students at the University College Maastricht. Hanna is Dutch, from Maastricht. Lucie is French, and from The Hague. We are both 19, and love arts and culture. We’re setting up a blog as part…