Gabriel Garcia

Scholars and artists have long recognized the power of music in creating recollections and vivid images within the mind. The brain, in all its complexity, underlies and integrates the emotional and cognitive responses to sound. Thus, familiar music can forever evoke the memories first associated with the piece, along with those associated with repeated hearings. 

On Sunday, October 30, in Santa Fe, SFI and the Santa Fe Symphony collaborated to produce a unique event exploring the interface between music and brain science. Two special concerts for New Mexico 4th graders were performed on Monday, October 31.

Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article about the educational concerts (October 24, 2011)

Voyages of Discovery III: Bach On the Brain, featured selected works of Johann Sebastian Bach interspersed with commentary by neuroscientist Chris Wood and demonstrations of the brain’s response to sound and music. It was the third SFI-SFS “science symphony” in as many years.

“The program explores, in Aldous Huxley’s words, ‘the vast number of obscure miracles’ that music elicits in the brain, and that underlie our musical experience,” saidWood, who is SFI’s VP for Administration and Director of the Business Network.

Listen to a KSFR Santa Fe Radio Cafe interview with SFI's Chris Wood and the Symphony's Greg Heltman (22 minutes, October 27, 2011)

Voyages III was underwritten by the Sydney & Andrew Davis Foundation.

As in past years, Voyages included an educational component. On Monday afternoon, October 31, the symphony and Wood performed a condensed version of the concert for Santa Fe-area 4th graders. Educational materials were distributed to local classrooms to accompany the concert and to demonstrate the scientific and mathematical basis of musical experience.

Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article about the educational concerts (October 24, 2011)