Rhythm’s Infinite Symphony – June 21st, New York, NY

Welcome to rhythm central.

Tonight’s Drums & Space will be an immersive experience designed to synchronize your mind and body with the universal heartbeat. An exploration of rhythm’s infinite symphony, where music and the brain intertwine in a harmonious dance. Get ready for a night of discovery and transcendence.

Symphony of Synapses: The Brain's Intricate Dance with Music - Neuroscience News

Rhythm can spark neural connections, foster communication within our brains, and elicit profound emotional responses. Prepare to be transported beyond the boundaries of time and space as you experience the rhythmic tapestry that unites us all tonight at Citi Field. 

I often incorporate my curiosity with how our brains work into many of my performances. I’ve been fortunate to work with cutting-edge technology in the field of brain studies with Dr. Adam Gazzaley and his lab – Neuroscape at UCSF, and I’m a contributing member of The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function amongst other academic pursuits in this area.

In an article featured on NPR which you can read here, I talk about my encounters with the effects of music on the brain, highlighting the captivating discoveries made during my experiments. The article revealed the stunning revelation that when we listen to music, our brains illuminate like a celestial fireworks display, each rhythm and melody stimulating intricate neural pathways.

We know, for example, that the midbrain is rhythm central. It’s where all the outer information streaming in from the senses and all the inner information scanned by the central nervous system is tabulated and evaluated. Unfortunately, the information is unconscious, our conscious mind cannot access it. Being able to surmount this barrier and access this internal data is the kind of skill of rhythm mastery.

My interest in brain science dates back to the ’80s. My grandmother had dementia and for years, she didn’t seem to recognize me and largely stopped speaking.  On one particular visit I played my drum for her and she spoke my name. This inspired me to learn more about music as a powerful therapy which eventually led me to Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at UCSF as mentioned above.

RHYTHM CENTRAL: Mickey Hart and Dr. Adam Gazzaley Make History Through Visualizing and Sonifying Brain Activity in Real Time for Live Audience

Dr. Gazzaley created a technology that allowed me to see my brain in real time and to hear the electrical stimuli of the brain. For me, the idea of processing data in real time was important because I wanted to jam with my own brain, to be dynamic with it, to have a conversation with it.

The result was being able to perform live shows with my brain.  The sonifications from my experiments inspired me to dive deeper into the connection between rhythm and the brain. Watch the video to learn more.

Tonight we’ll unravel the mysteries of the brain and its profound connection to rhythm. We’ll let the pulsating energy of the music envelop our senses, ignite our own neural fireworks and leave us forever changed.