science cocktails

Science & Cocktails: How music evolves

Armand Leroi from Imperial College London on How music evolves at Byens Lys, Saturday at 7 PM.

Why do humans make music and most animals don’t? Where does the human music making instinct comes from? Is the information contained in music similar to a population’s DNA? Can we reconstruct the songs that we sang thousands of years ago from the songs we have today?
Like DNA, music is transmitted from person to person, from generation to generation and like all things that are transmitted, it is modified. Darwin called this ‘modification by descent’. So music changes like DNA changes, like languages change. So why shouldn’t we be able to reconstruct the distant past with songs like we do with DNA?
Recently, evolutionary biologist Armand Leroi has built upon the system of ‘Cantometrics’ created by Alain Lomax in the 60’s allowing him to analyze large data banks of songs. The evolution process of music is more complicated than DNA because it mutates quite fast and hides the history tree that began far in the past. Can we distinguish two cultures by listening to one song? Armand Leroi is slowly making progress in reconstructing the music that we sang in the early days of human history.
Afterwards, -80°C instant dry ice cocktails and then a Solhorn performance, which consists of a demonstration by a manual operated sculptural installation. It is a concrete form of experiment where the focus shifts from sound to performer and to visual images. A performance to seeks to exhibit reduction and abstraction by means of the interaction between sound, light, shadow, bodily movement in space, technology and magic.

Entrance to the event is free. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00.

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