Tag Archive for music

The Music of Language

Old World Language Families

The illustration above is created by Minna Sundberg. Unlike pictorial art, music is perceived and processed in time. Complex music — consisting of more than one melody woven together — is even more difficult to process than a single stream. It requires focused attention. It’s more akin to listening to several conversations at once even if they are speaking on the same topic. If attention strays for just a moment, vital data can be lost. Thus music comprehension improves over several listenings. Things like nuance in performance, which ride on top of the basic syntax and message, are easy to miss for novice listeners. Listening, like performing, requires the development of skills. Humans are poor at splitting their attention and multitasking, and thus are prone to missing a lot of details. Language is also much more than a ruled-based string of words. There is a melody to each that varies from language to language. The melody provides the underpinning of emotion to the informational content that words carry. It’s easy to create cognitive dissonance by using the wrong emotional music while delivering a message. People who are good at this are good at manipulation. This is because we listen to…

Ice Music

Coding Peter Suddenly Paris 2 Covers

I wish I had heard of Siberian Ice Drummers or the use of Lake Baikal ice as a musical instrument when I wrote the second book in the “Many Worlds, One Life” series: “Coding Peter”! If I had, it would have been featured prominently in my story. Alas, some discoveries come too late…but at least they come! Take a listen:

Finding Inspiration

Experiment Z by Daywish

Books are not just a collection of words on a page. It takes time to birth a story. When I write, I do a lot of research. In addition to reading, annotating, and creating bibliographies on the science in my science fiction novels, I also collect images. For years, I had folders and folders of mood boards for each of my stories. I took photographs of the actual locations mentioned in my books. I made scrapbooks… I love my books illustrated, so I’ve even illustrated some of my books. But for those of you interested in seeing some of my photo research or just simply inspirational images from various artist that matched closely to what I saw in my head as I wrote the stories, I’ve created book boards on Pinterest. I’m not going to give summaries of each story I wrote here, but instead, I will say something of why the images you will see if you follow the links below speak to me and my stories. Enjoy! Suddenly, Paris Suddenly, Paris was my first science fiction book. It was first published in 2009 and then again (after a serious re-edit) in 2015. It deals with several locations that…

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie

Nash, K. (1999). “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie.” ComputerWorld. Retrieved August 1, 2001: http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47-STO39387,00.html The is a screen shot of David Bowie’s Home Page as it appeared on June 24th, 2010. In this interview, David Bowie, a musician and philosopher, shares his view of the Internet and how it may evolve and influence society but also the music industry over time. His depiction of his website serves as a starting point to his argument. The individualized portal, BowieNet – where he chats with fans on daily basis and keeps a personal journal – is telltale when it comes to his approach to the net. As a matter of fact, Internet is a huge decentralized village in Bowie’s point of view. The portal – by enabling the creation of online personas and by providing links to all the fan blogs on him – offers the opportunity to foster a village-like facet of internet with a free circulation of information and a sense of community built around him and his music. In fact, such interaction enables, according to Bowie, a new way of knowing people. He confesses that he likes to take on other names to simply observe what happens in the…

Complex Nonlinguistic Auditory Processing

aka Music. Today, I read a short interview on New York Times where Aniruddh D. Patel answers a few questions about his research into the neuroscience of music. The interview was pretty entertaining—we’ve all seen the YouTube video of a dancing cockatoo. But what got me was the last line on the difficulties of getting funding for research. In particular, getting money to study music was just not possible. So to keep his scientific research sounding like serious science, Dr. Robert Zatorre, one of the founding fathers of this field, used to write “complex nonlinguistic auditory processing” every place the word “music” should have been. To avoid structural research failure, Dr. Zatorre resorted to linguistic manipulation. And it worked! “Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind: a Conversation with Aniruddh D. Patel,” written for New York Times by Claudia Dreifus, and published on May 31, 2010.