Walter Mencken 2 p.m., May 28
NWEAMO 2013 — Emotional Circuits, Electric Animals in Hillcrest 4-26 & 27
Affective Neuroscience symposium with live experimental musical performances
According to Affective Neuroscience architect Jaak Panksepp, we are all the same...under the hood, mammals and birds all share the same neurobiology for emotions.
"New inventions such as fMRI and MEG are showing our brain circuits with a degree of resolution previously impossible. Neuroscientists are using these to map our enormously complex brains, and are beginning to understand what circuits light up when we smile, give our baby a hug, feel bullied, see an attractive fellow human walking down the street - and experience music."
If musicians & composers are attempting to stimulate an emotional response, then what actually is an emotion? There is an entire branch of neuroscience dedicated to emotions.
Affective Neuroscience is the brainchild of Jaak Panksepp – he coined the term. It is the branch of neuroscience that studies the ancient parts of our brains in which the physiology is nearly identical among all mammals and birds. "This is where the roots of our emotional systems are centered. His work is controversial, because the research shows that all mammals & most likely birds share the same basic set of seven, so-called primary process emotions."
The artistic ramifications of such a groundbreaking, breathtaking assertion are enormous. First off – what are these seven so-called "primary process" emotions?
How do these connect to the catalog of subtle emotional states that we experience in constantly shifting hues throughout the day and in our dreams?
Is there music that specifically provokes these? Does this illuminate new possibilities for music?
This is the over-arching theme of NWEAMO 2013 — Emotional Circuits: Electric Animal, happening in Hillcrest at the 1st Unitarian Universalist Church (4190 Front Street).
Friday, April 26, at 8:00 p.m. will feature NYC's the IMPetus trio making their first West Coast appearance.
Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Panksepp will open with a pre-concert talk on his groundbreaking research and ideas, which are reshaping how we think of ourselves and our felt fellow creatures.
The concert will then feature premieres by San Diego composers Bob Kostlan, and Bill Bradbury, and conclude with a new work by Joseph Martin Waters, in which IMPetus will rejoin the stage with the San Diego experimental band SWARMIUS-Hausmann Project and friends to create the SWARMIUS-Hausmann Tsunami Orchestra, to finish off the festival with a new six movement work created in consultation with Dr. Panksepp and applying new ideas about emotions.
"I am blown away that this world famous neuroscientist who is re-writing our basic ideas about how we see ourselves and other creatures is coming," Joe Waters of SWARMIUS-Hausmann Project tells the Reader. "I've never met him in person, but I sensed from reading his work the past several years -- he is Temple Grandin's mentor -- that he would be open and approachable, and so he is. And generous as well."
"I have been contemplating his basic ideas, gleaned from his careful neurobiological research over the past 30 years and they have had profound effect on my music and indeed about my basic sense of the world. If you can try to get a copy of his recent work The Archeology of the Mind: Neurobiological Origins of Human Emotions [Norton Books, 2012], or read Temple Grandin's Animal Make Us Human or Animals in Translation."
Based in La Mesa, SWARMIUS-Hausmann Project is an electric mini-orchestra of raised-on-rock, classically trained virtuosos shredders bent on warping trans-classical music into new venues & genres, exploding all notions about the where, what and how of it.
The group poses a music query: What kind of music would Mozart make if he were currently living on the beach in southern California?
“The Swarmius-Hausmann Project is a new melding of two groups that have each been around for several years,” says Waters of the seven-piece collaboration of the Swarmius Trio and the Hausmann String Quartet. “We merge classical music with rock, hip-hop, jazz, and world-music genres by creating music that’s easy to get into, with strong hooks and grooves, that also has additional levels with all sorts of things to discover, like musical references, juxtapositions, and palindromes.”
Featuring members of the Swarmius Trio, Lionheart, Hausmann String Quartet, and Saximus, the band made its concert debut July 17, 2012, opening for the Surfaris at the Belly Up Tavern.
Though ostensibly rock and roll, Waters notes that performances demand classically trained players. “The music is extremely demanding, like extreme sports. The songs are composed, not improvised, and the musicians are reading music onstage or have their parts memorized. The electronic sounds are all created from scratch, a painstaking process that’s necessary in order to realize the unique vision of the band. There are elements of electronica, surf, dubstep, gypsy, video-game sounds, and thousands of other things.”
Waters sums up their sound as “Moby gone over to a dark side, where Yoko Ono is the dungeon master and Brian Eno keeps score. We’re trying to make music that is classic, not classical.” The lineup includes Waters, Isaac Allen, Eric Chin, Angela Choong, Jeremiah Shaw, Todd Rewoldt, and Justin Dehart.
Festival dates: Friday & Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2013
Where: 1st Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest at 4190 Front Street
Tickets: $20 general, Seniors $15, Students & Children $10
Friday — 8:00 PM: IMPetus trio (from NYC) — world chamber punk cabaret trio
Saturday — 7:30 PM: Dr. Jaak Panksepp The Archeology of Mind pre-concert talk & book signing.
8:00 PM concert - World premieres by:
• Bob Kostlan (flute & live electronics)
• Bill Bradbury (mandolin & electronics)
• SWARMIUS-Hausmann Tsunami Ensemble
Friday - April 26, 8:00 PM
IMPetus Trio - featuring Geoffrey Burleson - piano (Princeton University, Naxos Records); Maria Tegzes - soprano; David Fabris - Electric Guitar
Joseph Martin Waters: Do Something Foolish, for piano and electronics
IMPetus: Das Labeling-Song
Henry Cow/arr. Burleson: War
Maurice Ravel/arr. IMPetus: Aoua!
Max Roach: Driva Man
Franz Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade
Trent Reznor: Hurt
Preston Stahly: Burn Rate, for piano and electronics
Charles Ives/arr. IMPetus: “Gyp the Blood” or Hearst!? Which is Worst!?
IMPetus: Night Crawler
Tzvi Gluckin/Punjab Frontier Force/arr. IMPetus: Mind Control
IMPetus: Child of All
Dave Fabris: Keys we Left Behind
Shostakovich/arr. IMPetus: Symphony No. 9 (II. Moderato)
Saturday - April 27
7:30 PM Dr. Jaak Panksepp: "The Archeology of the Mind" pre-concert talk and book signing
8:00 PM Program:
• Bob Kostlan
“A PRIORI” & “A POSTERIORI” (world premier)
- for flute and live electronic processing
• Bill Bradbury (world premier)
- for mandolin and electronics
• SWARMIUS-Hausmann Tsunami Ensemble
featuring SWARMIUS Trio, Hausman String Qt., IMPetus Trio, Kareening Fallingstar, Hermes, Marimbus Fourmalletus, Nathalious Kettlesome, Krishan Oberai and more....
"Electric Animal" (world premier)
"Arousal Call" (Joseph Waters & J.S.Bach)
"Upon a Kareening Fallingstar"
"Pacific 565" (Joseph Waters & J.S.Bach)