Oct 10. The Brown Institute Concert Series


We are pleased to announce that the Brown Institute at Columbia will host a monthly concert series, a moment of rest during an otherwise busy semester. We will have live musicians, and of course there will be light refreshments and plenty of socializing before and after the performances. The goal is to mix music with data, code and journalism. What could be finer?

For the first installment of the Brown Institute Concert Series, we'll explore the inherent connection between music and mathematics.

Music has the power to communicate to the deepest, most primitive, subconscious part of our brain, and yet it is nothing but audible patterns and ratios. In J.S. Bach’s lifetime, musicians were seen as scientists, not artists. And even today, many of our greatest composers use sophisticated mathematics and acoustics to create moving works of art. Composer/architect Iannis Xenakis used graphs and formulae to imagine sounds that had never been heard before. Georg Friedrich Haas uses precise ratios from the science of acoustics to create otherworldly soundscapes.

For our first concert on Friday, November 14 at 6pm, we’ll present works by these two legendary composers alongside music by younger and equally scientifically-minded composers, Oscar Bianchi and Christopher Burns, performed by the stellar violinist Miranda Cuckson (“an artist to be reckoned with” - Gramophone) and cellist Paul Dwyer.

These concerts will be monthly affairs. For our December concert, titled “Resistance,” politically-charged field recordings will be woven into music. We’ll hear a work called Resistance by Aaron Einbond, using recordings from the Occupy Wall Street protests and Come Out by Steve Reich using recorded testimony of a participant in the Harlem Riot of 1964.

The Brown Institute Concert Series is curated by Charlotte Mundy, soprano and new music advocate, who has been praised as “mesmerizing” and “preternaturally focused” by the New York Times. She is a member of TAK, a quintet dedicated to visceral performances of boundary-pushing music by young composers; neo-psychedelic chamber prog band The Knells; Ekmeles, a vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of new and rarely-heard works, and regularly sings with numerous other groups around New York, including the Grammy-winning vocal octet, Roomful of Teeth. She is a host and writer for Q2music, the new music-focused online radio station and affiliate of WQXR.

Established in 2012, the Institute is a collaboration between Columbia and Stanford Universities. Our mission is simple: Sponsor thinking, building and speculating on how stories are discovered and told in a networked, digitized world.
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