Synesthesia was the name attributed to the largely solo four-track recordings of Eric Johnson from 1992 to 1994. The last of three four track recording periods, Synesthesia’s music was characterized by experimentation in both song form and in recording techniques. The material continued to evolve even further away from previous era’s output and seemed, at least initally, to have little to do with traditional rock music. A largely instrumental collection of material, some songs are no more than ambient drones, some are complex musical explorations, while others were created for specifically for sound tracks for independent films.
“Tradition” and “Resolution” have similar origins. Both, recorded during the summer of 1992 in Madison Wisconsin, are largely from the same sessions. There simply was too much material recorded to fit onto a single CD so the project was split into two different projects. The music from these projects are mostly instrumental, taking the form of soundtrack-like explorations that vary in length, complexity and quality. Johnson recorded “Tone Poem” as a compliation album of soundtracks he produced for both independent films and material to accompany live performances by Blue Ruin.
By the end of this period for all practical purposes, Synesthesia’s writing comes full circle. The last project from this period, “New Land” marks a return to a more traditional rock-style of song writing. Also, by the end of this period, Johnson largely gave up solo recording that defined the early years of SlowBurn Records, concentrating exclusively on ensemble recording. Johnson did not return to solo recording for 16 years until he recorded 2010’s Special Patrol Group project.