Music and the Heart

How Music Can Literally Heal the Heart.

Its structural attributes and physiological effects make it an ideal tool for learning cardiology; studying heart-brain interactions; and dispensing neuro-cardiac therapy

And this:

The reason these heart-music mappings work is because abnormal heart rhythms tend to form simple inter-beat-interval ratios. In fact, the distinctive rhythms in Beethoven’s music so closely resemble those of heart rhythm disorders that cardiologists have speculated that they may be transcriptions of Beethoven’s possible arrhythmia, his interoceptive awareness of his own heartbeat enhanced by his deafness.

Lemons >>> make lemonade. Arrhythmia of the heart >>> compose great music.
There is something important hiding in this. Our very shortcomings, our problems, our flaws, can help us reach for something amazing.

From Scientific American

Nature Boy

On The Ethan Hein Blog I found a nice list of recordings of Nature Boy.

There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy. His name was eden ahbez, he was a hippie decades before that was a common thing to be, and he wrote “Nature Boy“, which Nat King Cole turned into a major hit. The tune has become a jazz and pop standard, and has been recorded uncountably many times.

I am listening to the version David Bowie recorded with Massive Attack, which I hadn’t heard before. It’s apparently from the movie Moulin Rouge.

My favorite version of Nature Boy isn’t on the list, however. It’s from the 1999 album Fascinoma by Jon Hassell. This version begins with solo trumpet – the softest trumpet sound you will ever hear – and then Rono Majumdar joins the trumpet with his bamboo flute. Check out the album Hollow Bamboo by Rono Majumdar, from 2000, as it is also excellent.

I remember talking to my friend CR about the song and she had a great story about meeting eden ahbez, the Nature Boy of the song. I’ll ask her about that.

This and That

Saw the following tweet by Ethan Hein

Your periodic reminder that Yusef Lateef recorded himself blowing over a record from the 1930s and put it on one of his albums, a breathtakingly fresh idea and one that I would love more jazz musicians to try

Link to song on YouTube

I just listened to this piece that was relesed in 1976. Very cool. I looked up copyright rules and learned that until 1978 music copyright was 28 years with an option to renew for another 28 years. The option had to be picked up in the 28th year of the original copyright term. The copyright holder could have easily missed the deadline or lost interest, so the copyright of the original music Yusef Lateef played over likely had expired.

When you just want to play your guitar but your Dad is that dude from Pink Floyd!

Found here.

Very funny. Lemme show you the E-chord, son!

I’ll end with this tweet. I love the comment: I ordered beer, so why did they bring me beer?

Consciousness + Breadfruit

Yesterday my RSS reader delivered a post called Thoughts on Reincarnation to me which prompted me to look up my own post called Memory Leaks from 2006 – by the way, the search function of the Diary works quite well and I use it often.

Both posts consider experiences that are sometimes explained with the concept of rebirth or reincarnation and how they might occur without it. After all, the concept of reincarnation is probably 3,000 years old and perhaps we can think of new ways to approach these experiences.

I wrote about “crossed wires” and “leaky memory” and the other post, very sensibly, points to DNA. Both posts start with the premise that everything is not only connected but one. Follow that with this thought about the universe:
Physicist: The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network.

On a different note, yesterday I ate breadfruit for the first time, roasted on a small fire. I found that it does indeed taste like sweet and doughy bread. Also reminded me a little bit of stealing a bite of raw dough from the kitchen table when I was little. I really liked it. I learned that the British brought Breadfruit from Polynesia to the Caribbean to feed slaves. Next I want to try breadfruit chips and breadfruit curry.


I am intrigued by the sense that culture itself has a wild edge. As Claude Levi-Strauss remarked years ago, the arts are the wilderness areas of the imagination surviving, like national parks, in the midst of civilized minds.

This is a quote, tweeted by a Gary Snyder Quotes Account, from the book The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder, published in 1990.

Wilderness of nature and wilderness of culture. Wilderness outside and wilderness inside. I believe we need both to flourish. Some people are uncomfortable with wilderness of nature or of culture, but they also reap the rewards of it. One example of that is the amount of medicine found in the wild corners of the shrinking Amazon forest. In terms of music think of how much bass playing was changed by the wild Jaco Pastorius or guitar playing by Jimi Hendrix. When they first exploded onto the scene there may have been many who didn’t like it, but now there is hardly a bassist or guitarist who was not influenced by them.

I think this dovetails nicely with my old Spinning circles image of culture.

In the fringe is where everything exciting happens, never in the center. Cultures are like spinning circles. In the center they don’t move very much, that’s where the traditionalists live, the conservatives. Towards the rim is where the action is, that’s where the artists hang out. Life is a little more out of balance there sometimes and the spinning can make you dizzy there. What is most exciting is that many of the culture circles overlap and if you can stay in a spot where several things overlap you can find new clouds of ideas. Ideas are not bound to any individual, there are bound to a time. Many people in that spot will come up with similar ideas. Sometimes this cloud of ideas forms a new circle and the center of it hardens and becomes a new tradition. The longer it can remain liquid the more alive it will remain. Life is change.

Rant #5