As part of the World Science Festival, a new exhibit is tackling questions about how the body responds to music and sound. NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.
Why does a beat get legs tapping? How does a body translate the feel of sound? “Bio-Rhythm: Music and the Body” is designed to offer some answers to those and other audio-related conundrums.
The exhibit comes by way of the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. It's now made its way to the Eyebeam Gallery in the Big Apple for the World Science Festival.
“It's inspired by a bunch of questions about how we respond to music and to sound, so there's a series of experiments and installations, we've got works created by both artists and scientists here,” says Michael John Gorman of Dublin’s Trinity College.
“Emotion in Motion,” for example, from the Sonic Art Research Center in Belfast, hooks individuals up to sensors in order to collect data on their physiological response to different types of music.
“This is going to help us explore that a little bit more and help explain the role of music in our lives,” says Niall Coghlan of the SARC. “Secondly, in terms of practical applications, we've got things like, maybe your iPod could sense what mood you're in or sense your emotional state and respond accordingly, like if you're sad play some happy songs.”
One device, dubbed the “Theremin Inspector” uses the early electrical instrument and an Xbox Kinect sensor to helps kids understand that there are waves all around us by allowing the kids to see and interact with those waves.
“We've had kids as young as seven or eight understand this concept, that their body is interacting with this invisible energy and that they can control it,” says Sean McDonald of the Reality Inspectors.
Unlike most other exhibits, this one actually encourages people and children to make noise. One piece in particular has individuals shout and scream into a microphone so that the noise can then become part of the installation.
“It picks up these different sounds and then those sounds are translated and mixed into a completely original track,” says Gorman.
To learn more about the exhibit, visit Eyebeam.org. To learn more about other events focused around science, technology, engineering and math, visit ConnectAMillionMinds.com, a site from NY1’s parent company, Time Warner Cable.