Talks & Lectures, University-wide
18 Oct 2017
Morton 324 - Richardson Room

Perceptual Impact of Mridangam and Tap Dance: Researching New Musical Genres

CAL Humanities Forum - Robert Harari

The symbiotic relationship of sonic properties and musical expression are exemplified in myriad ways. Sound wave propagation in acoustical instrumentation influences how the musician performs and relates musically to their instrument. In ensemble performance with artists of high musicality, unspoken communication informs musical passages, forms and development. Through a physical lens, musicians of different instrumentation have certain body positions and performance practices to be able to generate different rhythmic patterns and tonalities from the instrument they are playing. In the event that these performances are in front of a live audience, musical acoustics affects the perceptual realization of audience reaction and informs the metrics of success in the performance. This research begins an extensive project that will analyze instrumentation from around the world, and see how curating ensembles through the spectra of acoustical properties, rather than genre specific or culturally related groups, will influence the creation of new forms of world music.

During this humanities forum, Harari will be joined by Marehalli G. Prasad, R. Chandramouli, and Andrew Nemr.

Rob Harari has versatility in the field of audio and music with alternating roles as a music producer, educator, composer, sound designer, audio engineer and musician. Over a 30-year career in music, Harari has been fortunate enough to work on multiple Grammy-nominated albums, Emmy Award-winning programming for children educational content on PBS and musical themes for major sporting events, composed songs individually and collaboratively for albums ranging from rock, pop and jazz to spoken word. His near ten-year position at Stevens has inspired his research interest in a variety of areas. Collaborations first started with HackensackUMC, in a study of hospital acoustics and the potential correlation of the onset of delirium and cognitive impairment with the acoustical environment. More recently as the first artist to collaborate with Bell Labs since the 1960’s as part of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.), Harari authored and produced “The Shannon Effect”, a celebration of Claude E. Shannon, the father of Information Theory. His current research with the team at CIESE, funded with a $450,000 NSF award, will generate a high school curriculum to inspire STEM education through the lens of multi-media production, bringing years of industry experience to the classroom.

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