Even the best musicians do not play rhythms with perfect precision.
Slight deviations from an ideal beat pattern are a fundamental
characteristic of music played by humans. In this public lecture, using
techniques from statistical physics and chaos theory, Prof. Geisel will
discuss the laws underlying rhythmic fluctuations and their role in
musical perception. With acoustic demonstrations and musical examples
ranging from J.S. Bach's The Art of Fugue to stochastic music, he will
highlight the role of long-range correlations in music and its
connection to information processing in the brain. One application of
these findings is a "humanizing algorithm" which allows
computer-performed music to sound more human.
is managing director of the Max Planck Institute
for Dynamics and Self-Organization and founder of the Bernstein
Center for Computational Neuroscience in Göttingen, Germany.
Trained as a theoretical physicist, he held faculty positions in
Würzburg and Frankfurt before arriving in Göttingen. In 1994, he
was recognized with the Leibniz Prize. Well known for his research
on nonlinear and chaotic systems, he has worked in fields that
include quantum chaos, the spread of epidemics, and theoretical
brain research. As a student, he showed similar versatility,
neglecting his studies (from time to time) in favor of the saxophone
and flute, and performing in styles ranging from avant-garde jazz to
renaissance music. He even recorded a jazz album with the
somewhat Seussianly named combo The Flohzirkus ("flea circus")
of August Stockinger.
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