“The Science of Opera”, How Is It That Music “Moves” Us? (Video)
Stephen Fry asks scientists to show us how music works in our bodies.
The actor Stephen Fry concocted “The Science of the Opera” as an experiment to explore what happens to the body when we listen to moving music. For this experiment he asked comedian Alan Davis, who was a an opera “virgin”, and a group of researchers from University College London (UCL), to collectively discuss what happens physiologically when we listen to a passionate opera like Simon Boccangera by Verdi.
Rye and Davies attended the wonderful Royal Opera House while connected to several sensors that measured their breathing, sweat, heartbeat, and “several other emotional responses”. The results were fascinating. Firstly, one of the researching neurobiologists, Michael Trimble, informs us that “music is different to any other type of art”. For example, ninety percent of people admit to having been moved to tears by music, while only five percent can say the same thing about painting, sculpture or architecture. And, additionally, we should probably agree with these results, since we can confirm by the autonomous responses of the Fry’s and Davis’ nervous systems, which were moved beyond the conscious control of their emotions by the power of music (and the story).
To be fully informed you can watch the show, which as well as being informative and a way to expand our appreciation of music, is truly enjoyable due to the participants’ sense of humour. The sensors attached to their bodies are a type of window into their automatic activities, and they tell us an entire extravagant and moving narrative of that which happens as they experience Verdi’s absorbing piece. As if these devices were telling us about the opera they watched. One of the phenomena that was recorded was how synchronising of both their heartbeats, suggesting that perhaps all the hearts at the Royal Opera House where beating as one. This had been recorded before, for example, with chorus singers, who do not only harmonise, but also synchronise their hearts as they sing. This result is a physiological epiphany of sorts of what music can do to us, as a group.
Pictorial spiritism (a woman's drawings guided by a spirit)
There are numerous examples in the history of self-taught artists which suggest an interrogation of that which we take for granted within the universe of art. Such was the case with figures like
Astounding fairytale illustrations from Japan
Fairy tales tribal stories— are more than childish tales. Such fictions, the characters of which inhabit our earliest memories, aren’t just literary works with an aesthetic and pleasant purpose. They
A cinematic poem and an ode to water: its rhythms, shapes and textures
Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. - John Keats Without water the equation of life, at least life as we know it, would be impossible. A growing hypothesis holds that water, including the
Watch beauty unfold through science in this "ode to a flower" (video)
The study of the microscopic is one of the richest, most aesthetic methods of understanding the world. Lucky is the scientist who, upon seeing something beautiful, is able to see all of the tiny
To invent those we love or to see them as they are? Love in two of the movies' favorite scenes
So much has been said already, of “love” that it’s difficult to add anything, much less something new. It’s possible, though, perhaps because even if you try to pass through the sieve of all our
This app allows you to find and preserve ancient typographies
Most people, even those who are far removed from the world of design, are familiar with some type of typography and its ability to transform any text, help out dyslexics or stretch an eight page paper
The secrets of the mind-body connection
For decades medical research has recognized the existence of the placebo effect — in which the assumption that a medication will help produces actual physical improvements. In addition to this, a
The sea as infinite laboratory
Much of our thinking on the shape of the world and the universe derives from the way scientists and artists have approached these topics over time. Our fascination with the mysteries of the
Sharing and collaborating - natural movements of the creative being
We might sometimes think that artistic or creative activity is, in essence, individualistic. The Genesis of Judeo-Christian tradition portrays a God whose decision to create the world is as vehement
John Malkovich becomes David Lynch (and other characters)
John Malkovich and David Lynch are, respectively, the actor and film director who’ve implicitly or explicitly addressed the issues of identity and its porous barriers through numerous projects. Now