red chandeliers

melodrama through the eyes of a (fellow) synaesthete

hello everyone! just like lorde herself, i have a strong case of synaesthesia (I get colour visions, but also tastes and scents as well), so this is my attempt to review the masterpiece that is melodrama through my synaesthetical experiences

let’s go

green light: car air freshener, heated highway and the visions you get when you drive in heat (a la mirages), blackberry-scented cheap shower gel, a pistachio green silk scarf, old school adidas kicks, lemon juice drops on fresh summer salad, beige satin, old black cars (a la classic cadillacs and jaguars), maple syrup, the heat of cairo at around 11 am

sober: ripe honeydew, the smell of guitar wood varnish, red satin ribbons, smudged glass coffee tables, spilled lemonade on said tables, peach vodka, the feel of white plaster in old museums where security guards are very strict, cough syrup (both the colour and the flavour), artificial smell of mint, mint gum, velvet red carpeting in old and badly aired town halls, the humidity of rainforest

homemade dynamite: 4 am sunrise straight after a storm with torn dark grey, nearly black clouds being ripped, smell of gasoline, deep puddles in cracked pavement, dimmed street lights about to go out, magenta, white musk perfume from the body shop, deep indigo of the nearly sunrise of mid may, that walk home from a rowdy night out when everyone is more or less sobered up, but not sober enough to feel shy yet, still drunk enough to be honest with affection and cursing and slightly slurred speech

the louvre: bamboo blinds, bamboo shoots, bonsai trees, flowing honey, varnished birchwood, sunlit old halls in ugly grey soviet buildings, silver hellium-filled balloons, white shiny doors between a party-filled room and a closet where hook-ups and one-night stands take place, old oil paint, the sunny, lemon yellow butterflies, muddly skies of july, edelflower syrup in a glass of white wine, edelflower flower crowns, an expensive pool in a mansion-like house in hollywood hills, the eerie comfort and anxiety of the opening credits of twin peaks

liability: massive bouquets of lily of the valley, white lace curtains knitted by a grandmother, greyness of a sunday in a village on a last warm october day, a single light in an office on a late night in a massive skyscraper, dried flowers, drops of nosebleed on a crystal clean white sink, grey that turns into pastel lilac, the feeling of ripped paper

hard feelings/loveless: faint sunrise shining through the windows of a manhattan apartment in a skyscraper, all shades of orange spilling onto a hi-tec kitchen, cointreau liqueur, sunny warm nights on ocean beach, lukewarm bathtubs when the bath foam has fizzled, bonfires and burned marshmallows, just the beginning of feeling buzzed (like a glass of wine in), tender shades of yellow, rustiness of old heavy doors into a basement, scaffolding sounds, first sunniest days of spring after a heavy winter, sunset in the ocean, heavy fluffy sweaters / neon diner signs, anime eyes, porcelain dolls, peach-flavoured bubblegum, glass bowls

sober ii (melodrama): colour of crimson, heavy red velvet couches, smudged matte red lipstick, glass shards, ripped pearl necklaces and scattered pearls on sticky floor, red limelight, stilettos, tight black bodysuits, smoky-eyed tall models in revealing tight and latex dresses, marble furniture with golden decor, fistfights during a party, ripped suits and thrown ties and unbuttoned white shirts on boys with wealthy fathers

writer in the dark: light parakeet green, whitewashed starched tablecloths that crunch, old wooden tables, rusty cages for canaries, Advocat liqueur, big pearl necklaces on black dresses, big sunglasses (a la Audrey’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), sunny Sunday mornings on a patio with a cup of fancy tea, sunday clothes, white churches in greece, silver tears and crying in the backseat after a breakup, wilted flowers in a vase with dirty water

supercut: light green and orange, Love Is bubblegum, peaches, apricots, mint, Mojitos, fairy lights above people at a rooftop party, roadtrip one takes after a breakup with all thier belongings, flavoured water that doesn’t quench thirst, sparkling water with lemon and ice cubes, worn down picnic blankets, fancy dresses girls wear to the entrance into a nightclub, folding chairs, chilled champagne

liability (reprise): cold winter wind of february, the feeling on the tip of the tongue from scolding hot tea, big white rooms in museums, light green, light smoke of e-cigarette that smells like peppermint, the smell of sunscreen, the stillness of a swimming pool at noon in heat

perfect places: red wine, swinging chandeliers, red plastic cups, glass grand pianos, the last summer party in august, that warm feeling at the end of the party where everyone’s buzzed and affectionate and there’s a lot of kissing and hugging and swinging, big fake golden earrings, summer fruits, fancy hotels and luxurious lifts/elevators, skinny dipping, black velvet dresses that touch the floor, uncontrollable laughing in comfy sweaters

I’m still thinking a lot about Ghost Quartet and the nature of storytelling and forgiveness and, like, interacting with the world around you. Also about scope and setting and how Great Comet, even at Ars Nova, is presented in this lush and ostentatious world–gilt frames and red velvet and chandeliers and elaborate costumes–but is telling a small story, really, just following the bad decisions of these two people until they intersect and then continue outwards in their own orbits. It’s part of this huge, intricate world of a book, but its focus is narrow and intimate. It’s a small story that feels big. And, conversely, you have Ghost Quartet, which is just four people in street clothes playing instruments and drinking whiskey in a circle, telling a story with a dozen narrative players that spans lifetimes and centuries. It’s all of these interwoven characters and tales and ideas, twisted together into a unified path, a unified theme. It’s a big story that feels small and intimate.

And neither of them would work as well if they were switched. Great Comet would have an entirely different meaning, in parts, in a quiet, plain setting, and the circular path of Ghost Quartet wouldn’t work nearly as well with scenery and props and costumes. 

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than the fact that it’s one of the things going through my head as I replay Ghost Quartet in my mind. I wish I had an opportunity to see it again in this run. It’s going to be in Seattle in January, and if you’re in the PNW, you should def try and check it out.