Archives for posts with tag: evolution

The Nerve
A few years ago, Chris Brookes, Jowi Taylor and I produced a six-part series for CBC Radio called The Nerve: Music and the Human Experience. It was a follow-up to our Peabody-Award-winning series The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music, and it takes a look at how music is a facet of every part of our lives, from human evolution, to war and peace, to religion and personal identity.

This month, Radio New Zealand National is rebroadcasting The Nerve in its entirety, on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm New Zealand time. (That’s 5pm Pacific time and 8pm Eastern time in North America on Fridays and Saturdays.) You can listen at those times HERE.

Music is found in every culture worldwide. It’s our constant companion, from birth through childhood, love, marriage and death. It has a starring role on every stage of the great human drama – whether we are at war or at prayer, by ourselves or with others, happy or sad – music is there. But does it really have a purpose? Where does it come from? And why does it have such power over our hearts and minds?

The Nerve asks those questions, featuring the voices and thoughts of top musicians and thinkers, from Zakir Hussain to Howard Shore to Richard Dawkins and more.

Episodes 1 and 2 aired last weekend – but you can listen to Episode 1, “Wired for Sound: Music and the Brain” right here:

In 2009, Episode 1 of The Nerve was Shortlisted for the Prix Italia in the Work on Music category. The Nerve as a series was awarded two Silver Medals at the 2009 New York Festivals of Radio Programming in the Culture & the Arts and Best Editing categories.

It’s been six years since the tsunami devastated South & Southeast Asia, and just over a year since the massive earthquake in Haiti. There was a lot of coverage in January about how Haiti is faring, one year later, and hearing all about it has gotten me thinking again about being in Sri Lanka in December 2004 and January 2005.

I was in Colombo during the time just after the tsunami, and I remember being overwhelmed by a feeling of uselessness. I wanted to help in some way, but at first, charities weren’t interested in someone with my skill set. During that time, I began to question whether I had made the right choice in life by studying music. Is music ultimately useless?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering ever since, and this article appeared in the first edition of BoulderPavement about a year ago:

Read “Our Constant Companion”

P.S. For some powerful audio about compassion and perseverance in Haiti, tune in to CBC’s Tapestry this coming Sunday, Feb. 6th. They’ve got a great show lined up.