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The Utah Review – Utah Symphony’s America’s Wonders concert in 3-D registered plenty of sensory delights

by Les Roka

What does it mean to taste sound, or connect it to other senses besides hearing? Some individuals have synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon, in which music, for example, allows the listener to see musical notes in different shades of colors. Scientists also believe that even individuals who do not have synesthesia actually can experience similar effects by being immersed in a multi-sensory activity.

Only the second orchestra in the U.S. to do so, the Utah Symphony produced many thrilling moments related to synesthesia in America’s Wonders in 3-D: A Musical and Cinematic Journey with music that was composed, arranged and synchronized to a breathtaking series of filmed tableaux on a 3-D LED screen. Wearing yellow-framed 3-D glasses, the audience consistently registered its delight.

The overall effects were stunning in numerous moments, especially in the first half, which featured some of the country’s most iconic natural wonders. These included four of Utah’s greatest natural treasures in the southern part of the state, a most fitting connection. The concert was played on the centennial anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s signing of Congressional legislation that created Zion National Park, the country’s first.

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