When a Facial Tic Can Signal a Musical Shift
Alan Gilbert: I hope it comes out intensely. That's not\r\n to say that it’s about me, that.. I think that conducting is obviously a\r\n visual activity because it's about showing things with your gesture to \r\nthe musicians. But I don't want the audience to feel that they have to \r\nsee a show from me in order to feel how exciting the music is. But on \r\nthe other hand, if the music is exciting and if I look unengaged and not\r\n in it, then that would certainly prevent the experience from being what\r\n it really should be. It's a fine line that you sort of have to walk to\r\n really infuse the performance and the music with your deeply committed \r\npersonality while allowing the music to still be paramount. It's a \r\ntricky thing, and it's what we're all going for.
\r\nQuestion: Do your facial expressions affect the way people play?
Alan Gilbert: Absolutely. I mean, you have to allow \r\nyour face to show the character of the music, but that's not something \r\nthat I plan. You don't say, “Well, I want them to think I'm happy, so \r\nI'll smile now.” You naturally allow yourself to feel the music and \r\nthen just as you.. when you're hanging out, sometimes your face looks \r\nmore serious, sometimes it looks more animated, sometimes it looks more \r\npensive. That's definitely part of the communication.
\r\nQuestion: When you start as a conductor of a new orchestra, how long does it take them to understand your facial expressions?
Alan Gilbert: It happens right away, actually, or \r\nhopefully it does. If it doesn't, then there's probably something \r\nwrong. It's interesting. You can really understand the difference an \r\norchestra feels in conductors if you go to a conducting class where \r\nthere may be six or ten or twelve conductors in a very short span of \r\ntime. Often it happens that these conductors will be doing the same \r\nmusic, so you have a really good basis of comparison.
The sound \r\nis literally different within one second of—or instantly—once a new \r\nconductor comes on. They'll conduct the same music that had just been \r\ndone by another conductor, but the orchestra sounds completely \r\ndifferent. It's uncanny. There's something in the body language that \r\nimmediately translates into sound, and that's one of the exciting and \r\nkind of amazing things about conducting.
Recorded on June 18, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman
A conductor has to allow his face to show the character of the music. "Sometimes your face looks more serious, sometimes it looks more animated, sometimes it looks more pensive. That's definitely part of the communication."
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.