This is just so freaky and amazing, I have to share it.
After reading a few lines in a book about something called synethesia, I got interested. Apparently, quite a few people have an odd brain wiring such that letters, numbers, and/or musical notes are linked with colors. When they see a letter or number, and/or hear a musical note, they "see" a particular color in their minds.
Apparently, this odd quality is particularly common among people with autism.
On a whim, I asked Tom if he sees colors when he plays notes on the piano. Oh, yes, he said, he does!
I drew a series of dots in the colors he gave me, and aked him to play them on the piano. He played Frere Jacques flawlessly.
I looked up synethesia, and found that there's a close link between synesthesia relative to music - and perfect pitch.
It wasn't until today that I realized something else: the series of colors Tommy gave me is consistent with the achronym ROY G BIV. For anyone who's studied optics or astronomy, that acronym will be familiar: it's the colors of the optical spectrum, the order they appear in a prism, or in a rainbow. The only "off" color was pink - and that's because the correct color is "indigo."
Tommy has never heard the word "indigo."
Does anyone know anything more about this amazing collection of coincidences? I've emailed a couple of researchers in the field of synesthesia, but nothing so far!