Nightscaping Radio on Stillstream.com - 4/23/2014 (today!)

Wed Apr, 23 2014 7:00 PM EDT — Wed Apr, 23 2014 9:15 PM EDT

About

On this Wednesday night's edition of Nightscaping Radio on Stillstream: I'll be featuring tracks from the album "Inside The Hollow Realm" by Numina and Caul, celebrating its 10th anniversary of its release in 2014. Also, new to the show - music by Frore, Stillstream's Featured Artist of The Month for April; new dark tracks by Cousin Silas, music by Disturbed Earth, and stuff by That Bald Guy™...err...Har. Starts at 7:00PM 

http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profiles/blogs/nightscaping-radio-on-stillstream-4-23-music-by-frore-numina-caul

Do Musicians Have Different Brains? (from Psychology Today)

"In the last twenty years, brain imaging studies have revealed that musical training has dramatic effects on the brain. Increases in gray matter (size and number of nerve cells) are seen, for example, in the auditory, motor, and visual spatial areas of the cerebral cortex of musicians. As Dr. Oliver Sacks writes in his book Musicophilia, "Anatomists would be hard put to identify the brain of a visual artist, a writer, or a mathematician - but they could recognize the brain of a professional musician without a moment's hesitation." Perhaps it is not so surprising that brain areas involved in singing and instrument playing, such as auditory and motor cortices, change following extensive musical training, but a recent paper in the journal Neuroscience suggests yet another way that music reshapes the brain."

 

Read entire article in Psychology Today.

 

Personally, I would say that it's not the musical training that makes the dramatic brain function difference, it's the act of making music, of creativity, that facilitates more and better cross-brain (right to left hemisphere, and back again) communication.

Views: 76

Tags: Psychology, brain, music, musicians, today


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Comment by peter james on July 1, 2011 at 1:32pm
i've always thought this to be true, Steve. being a sound engineer (and of course a musician!), you are constantly making (and breaking - re-making) connections, both physically and mentally - and it's this ability to be able to make those connections "on the fly", and to "see" new directions and ways of doing things clearly and "in the moment" that has made me believe that there is and are different and novel thought processes (ergo creating new physical connections across the synapses) happening, and being created - both logical And creative - both left and right brain.

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Comment by Igneous Flame on July 2, 2011 at 4:53am

For me, one of the most interesting musical experiences I've had is improvising - 'jamming' with other musicians.
When it works, it's a transcendent experience. It's as if the 'you' disappears and the instrument plays itself almost. I'II bet there's some unusual brain activity going in in that kind of state.
Perhaps music is a 'special' case, after all there are elements of creativity in many areas of life (even in the
business world) and that sound becomes a 'language' of sorts ?

 

Peter, are you saying you have 2 brains ? :)

 


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Comment by peter james on July 2, 2011 at 1:28pm
great point, Pete.. a perfect example of what i am saying. and sadly, no, only one brain (though it sometimes feels even less than that ;-) ). something i have found interesting over the years, though, is that clasically trained orchestral musicians seem to lack creativity, but find the mechanicals of playing, ergo reading of complex musical patterns, a lot easier, just as one would study for an exam, for instance - making it a "technical", logical experience  (this however, is Not scientific, and purely from my own observations).

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Comment by Steve Brand on July 2, 2011 at 2:32pm

I've seen that firsthand, Peter. I had some students for an "Art Experiences for Non-art Majors" class that were in the school orchestra (the college orchestra and bound for professional careers in orchestra). I asked for everyone for a concept for a project in their area of interest that involved re-contexting. They wanted to play a piece and that was fine, BUT I asked them to do a "cut-up" of their favorite piece to get them out of their groove a little bit. They simply COULD NOT do it. They admonished me that it was for them to "reinterpret" the music, it was their job to play it as close to the intention as possible to the composers intention. So, our compromise was that they would play it backwards.

I liked the solution, it sounded very interesting and I think...ultimately...they enjoyed it, but I was struck by how inflexible these artists were at the ripe old age of 20.


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Comment by Harry N. Dibrell on July 2, 2011 at 4:28pm
Boy, I totally agree with you here , Steve. I was a music major at a large university in a big city early in my college career and I ran into this alot. Most of the other students were on a path to become orchestral players, opera singers, band directors or music teachers. Overall it was not a very creative bunch, IMO. My faculty advisor kept trying to push me into one of those categories even though I made it clear I wanted to compose and create music. I begged to be let in the electronic music classes, but he refused saying that was for upperclassmen only. I was forced to be in the choir for my performance credits where this same professor was the director even though I made it clear I had no singing experience and possessed a weak voice at best. He then took every opportunity to humiliate me in front of the entire choir for my poor skills. I quit after 3 weeks. I found the music department to be one of the most conservative, stick up their *!#@^'s bunches at the university. My roomate was an art major and his experiences were the opposite. Very open to creativity and different ideas. (Rant over)

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Comment by Harry N. Dibrell on July 2, 2011 at 4:35pm
"For me, one of the most interesting musical experiences I've had is improvising - 'jamming' with other musicians.
When it works, it's a transcendent experience. It's as if the 'you' disappears and the instrument plays itself almost. I'II bet there's some unusual brain activity going in in that kind of state."
Yes, that is a 'magical' experience. I remeber playing in my last band in the'70's and having a practice where only 3 out of 5 of us could make it when we were first starting out. We just started jamming at one point and it must have gone on for 45 minutes or more. We were all so pumped up and talking about how that was the best we had ever played. Try as we could we could never recreate that time again. We couldn't even remember exactly what we had played.

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Comment by Steve Brand on July 5, 2011 at 8:55am
Yeah, Harry. I've certainly experienced that timelessness. Primarily, I've experienced this when recording. I've spent huge chunks of time playing, recording, editing and composing, only to sit back look at the clock to see 4 hours had gone by without my being aware of it. I've also experienced it in listening back to those same pieces and thought, "Whoa...I DO NOT remember doing that...when did that happen...who did that?!" It's a very weird and wonderful sensation to be shocked and surprised by your own music. In many cases, they are documents of trascendent moments...at least for me!

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Comment by Steve Brand on July 5, 2011 at 8:59am
...thinking more... I've also experienced this heightened state when improvising with other musicians. I can remember one afternoon of improvising with my pal Jonathan. 5 hours had gone by like nothing. We got lots of really interesting material out of it, and we were in a completely altered state afterwards...sort of dopey and in a daze. Some of the material from those sessions went into "Children of Alcyone." (While that was a Hypnos Secret Sound release and CDr only, for me those tracks represented some amazing collaborative work that deserves wider release some day.)

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Comment by Jennifer H. Allison on July 5, 2011 at 12:20pm
What about people who are both musicians and visual artists?  I've met people like that, and also people who seem to be good at whatever they put their hands and minds to..  What would the scientific studies say about that, I wonder?

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Comment by Jennifer H. Allison on July 5, 2011 at 12:25pm
I wonder what the scientific studies would say about people who are both musicians and visual artists?  I've met such people and also people who seem to be great at whatever they put their minds and hands to.  How much is a product of genetics and how much is the application of will and desire?  Really interesting questions.  I know I've spent hours on writing projects and it seemed like only minutes went by when I was 'on a roll' (in the groove, inspired, or whatever).

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