How We’ll Forget John Lennon

Our culture has two types of forgetting. BY KEVIN BERGER Afew years ago a student walked into the office of Cesar A. Hidalgo, director of the Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab. Hidalgo was listening to music and asked the student if she recognized the song. She wasn’t sure. “Is it Coldplay?” she asked. It was “Imagine” by John Lennon. Hidalgo took it in stride that his student didn’t recognize the song. As he explains in our interview below, he realized the song wasn’t from her generation. What struck Hidalgo, though, was the incident echoed a question that had … Continue reading How We’ll Forget John Lennon

Incubation, Ideation, and the Art of Editing: Beethoven on Creativity

Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler “I carry my thoughts about with me for a long time, sometimes a very long time, before I set them down.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos,” Mary Shelley observed in contemplating how creativity works in her preface to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein. “It is strange the way ideas come when they are needed,” the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote nearly two centuries later in his account of the “flash of illumination” by which creative breakthrough occurs. It is a chaotic strangeness familiar to every creative person, be … Continue reading Incubation, Ideation, and the Art of Editing: Beethoven on Creativity

Patti Smith Sings “The Tyger” and Reflects on William Blake’s Transcendent Legacy as a Guiding Sun in the Cosmos of Creativity

“The eternal loom spins the immaculate word. The word forms the pulp and sinew of innocence… William Blake never let go of the loom’s golden skein… He was the loom’s loom, spinning the fiber of revelation.” BY MARIA POPOVA “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way… As a man is, so he sees,” William Blake (November 28, 1757–August 12, 1827) wrote in his most beautiful letter — a soaring defense of the imagination. A genius both tragic and transcendent, Blake was among humanity’s deepest and farthest seers — … Continue reading Patti Smith Sings “The Tyger” and Reflects on William Blake’s Transcendent Legacy as a Guiding Sun in the Cosmos of Creativity

Listening to live classical music provides DRAMATIC cognitive benefits for dementia patients

 by: Tracey Watson (Natural News) Dementia is a devastating condition that slowly strips people of their memories and personality, altering them from loved ones to total strangers in just a few years. Dementia is one of the world’s fastest growing diseases, and over 24 million people battle this condition worldwide. With an aging global population, experts believe that this figure could leap to over 84 million people by the year 2040. The sobering fact is that if you do not currently know someone who has some form of dementia you certainly will in the future. The causes of dementia are poorly understood … Continue reading Listening to live classical music provides DRAMATIC cognitive benefits for dementia patients

Musical pleasures

French composer Pierre Boulez in 1976. Photo by Herve Gloaguen/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images We know music is pleasurable, the question is why? Many answers have been proposed: perhaps none are quite right by Roger Mathew Grant is associate professor and the director of graduate studies in the music department at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He is the author of Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era (2014) and a contributor to Pleasure: A History(2018), a volume of the Oxford PhilosophicalConcepts series and a project of the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy. His next book is Peculiar Attunements: The Musical Origins of Contemporary Affect Theory (forthcoming). Edited by Sam … Continue reading Musical pleasures

The Ecstatic Sound of Midlife Melancholy

JULIETTE LARTHE Spiritualized’s And Nothing Hurt sees the venerated space-rock act inflate weariness into something gorgeous. by SPENCER KORNHABER “Miracle” is a word leached of awe by overuse. It is not a miracle, really, when the harried barista gets one’s order correct, even if one might call it such. And so for many listeners, the use of that term on “A Perfect Miracle,” the opener to Spiritualized’s eighth album, And Nothing Hurt, might signal a sort of love song they’ve heard before. A cursory listen to the song’s crests of twee ukulele, twinkling bells, and gallant timpani might cement that impression. “I’d like to sit … Continue reading The Ecstatic Sound of Midlife Melancholy

Rock ’n’ Old: Why the Age Gap Between Rock Stars and Their Fans Has Never Been Wider

Foo Fighters, rocking the old-age makeup (Photo: Brantley Gutierrez) by Tim Grierson Popular rock bands are now far older than their pop and hip-hop peers, which completely changes how we relate to them as listeners A few weeks ago, the annual MTV Video Music Awards took place, honoring what’s best or most popular or whatever in music videos. And in the buildup to the show, Pitchfork reviews editor Jeremy D. Larson noticed something interesting about the Best Rock nominees: They’re all old dudes. As was quickly established in his mentions, Larson wasn’t basing his observation on actual math but, rather, a feeling … Continue reading Rock ’n’ Old: Why the Age Gap Between Rock Stars and Their Fans Has Never Been Wider