April 24, 2011

LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE SENT ME this piece on David Eagleman and neuroscience. It’s very interesting, and I particularly like the bit on drummers’ sense of time. It’s real, but I think it can be cultivated: When I was producing blues and rock, drummer Doug Weinstein would spot stuff rushing or lagging the beat that I couldn’t hear unless he pointed it out. But once I started producing techno, my sense of beat-timing became vastly more refined, and even slight departures stood out to me. Synesthesia helps, too — I can (or could, back when I was doing that sort of thing regularly) hear tiny differences in delay time quite clearly, but “hear” isn’t quite the right word, because really they looked different.

The thing about drummers hearing beats everywhere, and that being as much a curse as a blessing, is true, too. . . .

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