Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “music”

Matter, Music, and the Mind
Matter, Music, and the Mind

“Sound is sea: pattern lapping pattern… Matter delights in music, and became Bach.”

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How Snails “Run” for Love: A Sensual Interlude from the Symphony of Evolution
How Snails “Run” for Love: A Sensual Interlude from the Symphony of Evolution

A rare and rapturous glimpse of the slow double embrace by which some of Earth’s tenderest creatures make more of themselves.

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On the Beach Alone at Night: Meshell Ndegeocello Reads Walt Whitman’s Ode to the Interconnectedness of Life
On the Beach Alone at Night: Meshell Ndegeocello Reads Walt Whitman’s Ode to the Interconnectedness of Life

A song of praise for “all souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different… all nations, colors… all identities that have existed or may exist… all lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future.”

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Sappho’s Timeless Elegy for Heartbreak at the End of Love, Reimagined in a Haunting Choral Invocation
Sappho’s Timeless Elegy for Heartbreak at the End of Love, Reimagined in a Haunting Choral Invocation

“Rejoice, go and remember me.”

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Snakes, Dragons, and the Power of Music: Strange and Wondrous 18th-Century Illustrations of Real and Mythic Serpents
Snakes, Dragons, and the Power of Music: Strange and Wondrous 18th-Century Illustrations of Real and Mythic Serpents

“That there is not a wise Purpose in every thing that is made because we do not understand it, is as absurd as for a Man to say, there is no such thing as Light, because he is blind and has no Eyes to see it.”

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How Pythagoras and Sappho Radicalized Music and Revolutionized the World
How Pythagoras and Sappho Radicalized Music and Revolutionized the World

The story of the invention of the love song, the world’s first algorithm, and the mathematics of transcendence.

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Dignity, Daring, and Disability: The Pioneering Queer Composer and Defiant Genius Ethel Smyth on Making Music While Going Deaf
Dignity, Daring, and Disability: The Pioneering Queer Composer and Defiant Genius Ethel Smyth on Making Music While Going Deaf

…with a side of Virginia Woolf’s elated infatuation.

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The Gospel of James Baldwin: Musician Meshell Ndegeocello Rekindles the Fire of Truth for This Time
The Gospel of James Baldwin: Musician Meshell Ndegeocello Rekindles the Fire of Truth for This Time

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”

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All Human Beings: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Reimagined as a Soulful Serenade to Diversity and Dignity by Composer Max Richter
All Human Beings: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Reimagined as a Soulful Serenade to Diversity and Dignity by Composer Max Richter

A celebration “of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

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Nothing Is Fixed: James Baldwin on Keeping the Light Alive Amid the Entropic Darkness of Being, Set to Music
Nothing Is Fixed: James Baldwin on Keeping the Light Alive Amid the Entropic Darkness of Being, Set to Music

“The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

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