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Pierce Gradone (PhD candidate, Music Composition, UChicago)
Dana Simmons (PhD candidate, Neurobiology, UChicago)

Net(work) is a collaboration between music and neurobiology that investigates the many ways in which art and science inform each other. The net(work) team includes Pierce Gradone (Music Composition), and Dana Simmons (Neurobiology). Pierce’s music is fascinated by the small, mechanical impulses that form the foundation of modern music-making. Dana’s neurobiology research focuses on the ways networks of neurons communicate with each other in the autistic cerebellum. Together, the net(work) team will create a musical composition for violin, cello, piano, live electronics, and live video that represents and interprets the many shapes of electrical currents that symbolize communication between neurons. The soundworld of the piece will consist of field recordings from the laboratory, while the musicians will provide an acoustic counterpoint as the musical structure of the piece will be constructed in real time through the composing of smaller, modular movements whose shapes are directly representative of neural pulses. The music will transform in response to these stimuli, representing the way a neural network also responds. The result is a musical ecosystem in which a musical neural network is formed throughout the duration of the 15-minute performance.

2016-17