This weekend the annual World Science Festival (WSF) will be held in New York City. Started in 2008, this five-day event features the world's leading scientists, thinkers, and researchers, celebrating science through presentations, debates, film, and the arts. It is one of my favorite events of the summer, as I find that WSF presentations are fascinating and approachable, even for those who, like myself, don't have a background in science. This year there are several events in particular that intrigue me as a musician. I encourage you to check them out!
One such event is a talk that will be held this Saturday, June 4 at 8 pm titled Music and the Spark of Spontaneity. WSF describes this program as one that "will explore the neurological processes underlying [musical] improvisation and what they tell us about human creativity and the structure of the brain." The program features musicians performing improvisations as well as scientists describing their studies of neuroscience, psychology, and music.
In addition, there is a series of events featuring the U.S. debut of the exhibition BIORHYTHM: Music and the Body from Science Gallery in Dublin. This exhibit will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12 - 6 pm at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. The exhibit explores the impact of music on the body, including explorations into how different types of music evoke different emotions and how our brains and bodies react to music.
The kick-off event for this exhibit is the Opening Reception, BIORHYTHM: Music and Emotion, which will be held on Friday, June 3 from 6 - 9 pm. The reception features live interactive performances, sound experiments using physical energy, and one-on-one interactions with artists and installations.
The BIORHYTHM series also includes a presentation Rhythms on the Brain: Music, Memory, and Emotion, on Saturday, June 4 from 2 - 3 pm. In this presentation, featuring a neural scientist and two musicians, the presenters will discuss how certain music captures listeners and how particular songs connect to memories and emotions.
I appreciate that the World Science Festival makes science approachable and intriguing for audiences of all ages - and I am particularly appreciative that WSF is hosting several events that explore the connections between science and music.