by Dacia Clay
Ever wonder what’s happening in our brains when we make or hear music? Composers and researchers from the University of Washington teamed up with the JACK Quartet to find out.
Over the course of a three-year residency at UW, the team studied the integration of brain and body signals in artistic performance. They outfitted the JACK Quartet with portable brain helmets and muscle sensors that detected brain activity while listening to, seeing, and performing music. Then, they harnessed these neuroscientific discoveries to create new art.
The culmination of this extended residency is a concert this Saturday night titled Human Subjects. Featuring original music by Richard Karpen and Juan Pampin (from the UW DXARTS Faculty), the concert combines the JACK Quartet’s sonified brain waves and neural sensors with music played live on their actual string instruments.
In this interview, we talk with violinist Christopher Otto and violist John Pickford Richards about new music, neuroscience, and what it’s like to be a human subject.
The JACK Quartet performs Human Subjects this Saturday, May 18 at 7:30pm at Meany Hall. For tickets and more information, click here.