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The Boston Globe

West

Davis Museum presents tribute to Sylvia Plath

As curator of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Elaine Mehalakes dreamed of commissioning a piece of music to complement a visual installation. And because her museum is on a college campus, Mehalakes knew just the composer who could make this happen: Jenny Olivia Johnson, an assistant professor of music composition and theory at Wellesley.

Johnson brought an unusual asset to the project. Not only is she an acclaimed composer and percussionist, she also has a neurological condition called synesthesia, which she describes as “experiencing sound as a color or a touch or another sensory modality.” So the challenge of creating what she calls a “sound picture” for the museum was irresistible.

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