Saturday, November 19, 2005

NBA, Music, Dance

Congratulations to the good folks at Copper Canyon. It has been a good week for them: according to an article in the Seattle PI, not only did W.S. Merwin win the National Book Award for Migration, but Copper Canyon also learned they had been awarded a $50,000 grant from the NEA and a $450,000 grant from the Lannan Foundation. Rock on!

On another note, I spent most of Friday at a Continuing Ed course: Why Music Moves Us: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music. It was fascinating, but a bit over my head. I understood things such as the difference between "unison" and "harmony" (something all couples should know . . . ~grin~). And I understood octaves and fifths and all that. But the "circle of fifths" and "temperament" and the "Art of the Fugue" . . . I was lost.

It was fascinating to learn how music is being used to help stroke and Parkison's patients. Apparently music (especially rhythm) uses neural pathways that are not as affected by the disease, and that timing walking exercises or speech exercises, for instance, to a metronome, or to music, helps patients make up for some of their deficits. There was great video of a man who could hardly walk, but when the therapist played "Back in the Saddle Again" on the stereo, he could just about dance across the floor.

On yet another note . . . Dean and I went out with our good friends Kevin and Bob last night to see Pilobolus Dance Group perform at Meany Hall. What a trip! The things they can do with their bodies. (And what bodies . . . talk about in shape). My favorite piece was a pas de deux (of sorts) for two men, where both dancers are suspended in the air by one arm from a sling, and doing these very masculine movements floating together, or apart, as if they are one moment lovers, one moment enemies fighting. Just a wonderful piece.

2 comments:

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

... but what about the NBA, you tease, you?

Peter said...

LOL: AJ I am so glad you picked up on that . . . hehehe.