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Arts and the Brain Series: Music Cognition and Perception (Lecture/Performance)
Presented by Strathmore
Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:00 PM

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Group Tickets Call (301) 581-5199
Accessible Seating Call (301) 581-5100

Music Cognition and Perception
Vijay Iyer
Tickets include light refreshments

Is there a link between gray matter and a love of the arts? That’s the question behind the fun and fascinating new Arts and the Brain series. “Scientists are discovering amazing things about the way our minds work,” says Lauren Campbell, Strathmore’s education and development manager. “We wanted to provide a forum to explore those discoveries in relation to what we do best here—the arts. Given the rich scientific and medical communities around us, and our artistic resources,” she says, “we were inspired to bring the two together.”

In this lecture/performance:
In addition to being one of today's most acclaimed young American jazz musicians, Vijay Iyer also has a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, where he did his dissertation research in music perception and cognition. This evening he will present some ideas on embodied musical cognition, and the central role of improvisation in our lives. He will also offer some musical examples and give a solo piano performance, which will draw from Iyer's acclaimed 2010 album Solo.

The paradigms of embodied and situated cognition provide an understanding of mind as emerging from real-world, physically embodied, environmentally and culturally located experience. Iyer argues for an essential identity between what we call "experience" and what we call "improvisation" - that is, embodied, situated sensorimotor activity. In this way, we are all improvisors; human cognition emerges from our improvisational engagement with the self-world boundary. Improvisatory musical acts provide a lens through which we might examine these aspects of cognition.

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