Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Creativity is important—without it, human society cannot survive—yet finding an appropriate method to quantify imagination has scientists stumped

NEW YORK — While jazz musician Vijay Iyer played a piece on the piano, he wore an expression of intense concentration. Afterward, everyone wanted to know: What was going on in his head? The way this music is often taught, “they tell you, you must not be thinking when you are playing,” Iyer said after finishing his performance of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” a piece that requires improvisation. “I think that is an impoverished view of what thought is. … Thought is distributed through all of our actions.” Iyer’s performance opened a panel discussion on music and the mind at the New York Academy of Sciences on Wednesday (Dec. 13). Music elicits “a splash” of activity in many parts of the brain, said panelist Jamshed Bharucha, a neuroscientist and musician, after moderator Steve Paulson of the public radio program “To the Best of Our Knowledge” asked about the brain’s response to music. “I think you are asking a question we can only scratch the surface of in terms of what goes on in the brain,” Bharucha said. [Why Music Moves Us]

Music’s Effects on the Mind Remain Mysterious: Scientific American

Posted: December 2, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Research by MIT’s Markus Buehler — together with David Kaplan of Tufts University and Joyce Wong of Boston University — has synthesized new variants on silk’s natural structure, and found a method for making further improvements in the synthetic material. The work stems from a collaboration of civil and environmental engineers, mathematicians, biomedical engineers and musical composers. The results are reported in a paper published in the journal Nano Today. “We’re trying to approach making materials in a different way,” Buehler explains, “starting from the building blocks” — in this case, the protein molecules that form the structure of silk. “It’s very hard to do this; proteins are very complex.” Other groups have tried to construct such protein-based fibers using a trial-and-error approach, Buehler says. But this team has approached the problem systematically, starting with computer modeling of the underlying structures that give the natural silk its unusual combination of strength, flexibility and stretchiness. Pound for pound, spider silk is one of the strongest materials known: has helped explain that this strength arises from silk’s unusual hierarchical arrangement of protein building blocks. Buehler’s previous research has determined that fibers with a particular structure — highly ordered, layered protein structures alternating with densely packed, tangled clumps of proteins (ABABAB) — help to give silk its exceptional properties. For this initial attempt at synthesizing a new material, the team chose to look instead at patterns in which one of the structures occurred in triplets (AAAB and BBBA). Making such structures is no simple task. Kaplan, a chemical and biomedical engineer, modified silk-producing genes to produce these new sequences of proteins. Then Wong, a bioengineer and materials scientist, created a microfluidic device that mimicked the spider’s silk-spinning organ, which is called a spinneret. (via The music of the silks | KurzweilAI)

Posted: December 2, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Currently listening to this amazing release by

Die Kammer – »The Orphanage (Early Adoptions Epilogue)«


Vocals: Marcus Testory
Guitar: Matthias Ambré
Drums: Oliver Himmighoffen
Tuba: Dirk Klinkhammer
Violin: Matthias Raue
Cello: Tabea Müller

Narrator: Matthias Keller
Animation: Ingo Römling
Camera: Thomas Klieber
Mix, Master: Vincent Sorg/ Principal Studios

Text & Music: Matthias Ambré

(by Sophie Kammer)

Posted: November 27, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Piano-Playing Swarm Robots

A swarm of robots (Khepera III) is presented with a musical score (Beethoven’s Fur Elise) in the form of spatio-temporal requests, i.e. spatial locations that must be reached at specific times (similar to a piano score that requires hitting different piano keys at specific times). By solving the corresponding spatio-temporal routing problem, the smallest possible robot team is deployed in order to effectively “play” the musical score, while minimizing the total distance travelled 🙂

(by GRITSlab)

Posted: November 27, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Happy 70th birthday Jimi Hendrix – life in pictures Hendrix’s on-stage theatrics rarely overshadowed his immeasurable talent but it can’t be denied that Jimi Hendrix was as much showman as he was musician. (via Hendrix’s on-stage theatrics rarely overshadowed his immeasurable talent bu – The Independent)

Posted: November 22, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Fantastic Trailer for Bish Bosch, the forthcoming album from Scott Walker, to be released 4th December 2012-Scott Walker – Bish Bosch (Album Trailer) (by 4ADRecords)

Posted: October 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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US researchers say that mice may have the ability to learn songs based on the sounds they hear. They found that when male mice were housed together they learned to match the pitch of their songs to each other. Mice also share some behavioural and brain mechanisms involved in vocal learning with songbirds and humans, say the researchers. But some scientists are sceptical, saying the evidence doesn’t support the claim. Details of the study are published in the Journal, Plos One. Previous research in this field has shown that male mice can sing complex songs when exposed to females and these play an important part in courtship. These murine serenades are ultrasonic. At between 50 and 100KHz, they are far above the hearing range of humans. When processed to make them audible to humans, they sound like a series of plaintive whistles. (via BBC News – Mice learn songs in similar way to humans and birds)