I also have milder synaesthesia, and for me sounds tend to be accompanied by colours and 'textures' (I 'see' a lot of it as solidified light almost like glass) to the point where when I am composing, I tend to pick things that look good when I shut my eyes, because they invariably sound good too, and even wrote up an entire chart of chords by colours and what they invoke imaginatively to help me in my compositions.
I didn't want to write about my tastes in stuff like Goth, Darkwave and French Coldwave because I'm pretty sure I've covered various aspects of that on my blog already. Beyond Goth, my tastes in music are quite broad. I thought I would focus on an aspect of my musical life that has inspired me as a Goth while being quite removed from Goth itself.
When I was younger and somewhere between my Christian roots and my Pagan faith, I was rather active in various church choirs and I have been singing from a very young age. I sang in both church choirs and school choirs, but as many of the schools I went to (I moved a lot) were Christian, I still sang mostly sacred music. I have not attended Church for worship service in years, and do not intend to as I am thoroughly Pagan now, but I still attend the occasional concert of sacred music. Choir holds almost all positive memories for me. I got to a relatively high standard and ended up singing some challenging music in some really beautiful places.
While the religious content was not always in alignment with my personal faith (and as I grew older, I grew further away from Christianity) there was something about it that connected with me on a very profound and spiritual way. I think there is definitely something spiritually powerful about religious singing, as an act of worship and an act of faith in itself rather than as simply a celebration thereof. There is a lot in the Bible about music, from David's lyre, to the songs of Solomon, to the angels who sing eternal praises in Heaven, and while this is heading off on a tangent that probably deserves its own post, I certainly think that Christianity and other religions that use sacred song (I have some CDs of Buddhist singing, from a period when I was interested in becoming Buddhist), and they have something very precious and definitely inspiring. A few years ago I tried writing some Pagan songs in a similar choral style, but suffered from a lack of people to sing them (I experimented with multi-tracking myself, but it come out very strange!) and so that project was put into indefinite stasis.
It should be relatively apparent that historic architecture, especially that in the Gothic style, is something that I am really passionate about. With early Gothic literature, the term came about because of the use of settings, and how a lot of those settings were the sorts of buildings I love. To me, I cannot easily separate my experience of those buildings from the music performed in them, the music I performed in them as part of a choir.
Choral music of various Christian traditions has inspired both my own musical life as a choral singer (I even ran a choir at the school I work at until my chronic illness made in untenable) and also as an artist and poet and photographer as glorious music mixes with beautiful colour and light in a synaesthesic mix in my head, and always evokes a sense of wonder, sacredness and a belief that there is a Divine and glorious presence in the universe, even if to me the heavens are the literal heavens of space full of stars, nebulae and very real glorious light, and to me, a pantheist, the Divine is inherently manifest through reality. When I shut my eyes and sit on the bare earth and feel the boundaries between what is me and what is everything else dissolve and meditate, there's a similar sense of awesome, brilliant, glorious something that I touched when I was singing psalms, evensongs, hymns, masses and oratorios.
My Musical Pick
There is some overlap with my tastes in more Goth music; some of my favourite pieces by Dead Can Dance are the ones where multi-tracking has been used to create a choral effect, but the songs they sing have words of Lisa Gerrard's glossolalia rather the Latin texts various masses and offices. I think that same sense of light and glory that is forever intangible that I got when listening to choral concerts in Oxford collegiate chapels and grand Gothic cathedrals is what inspired Host of The Seraphim with its vocals that seem to soar ever upwards in plaintive chant over a very minimal (electric?) organ and distant strings. It reminds me of how psalms are traditionally sung with the chords changing according to the text, rather than the text made to fit the melody (think Alleghri's 'Miserere mei, Deus'). To me, Host of the Seraphim is like watching angels come and go, filing past out of view and into nothing but beautiful light.