Oliver Sacks - Musicophilia

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Oliver Sacks - Musicophilia

Postby roymond » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:50 pm

If you read the New Yorker, you're familiar with Dr. Sacks' fascinating articles on neurological cases he's studied, especially around bizarre musical abilities that have visited victims of stroke, lightening strikes and dementia. We just heard him speak about his new book Musicophilia, and the variations of musical gifts and torments that folks are dealing with.

Like the 42 year old surgeon who gets hit by lightening during a lakeside family gathering, has a near death experience. Revived by CPR and recovers. Then wants to do nothing but play piano music, and learns Chopin, but then starts hearing music in his head. hardly played an instrument or studied music before, but hears music which drives him to learn to understand and notate the music, and ends up he writes enormous amounts of music, divorces his wife, quits his job, writes music. Complex music. It takes over his life.

Or the guy who has Alzheimer's and remembers nothing more than like the last 7 seconds. basically doesn't know who he is or why he's where he happens to be with folks he doesn't know. But he remembers all the tenor parts of every song he's even sung. He opened some show at Radio City last year. When he's singing, he's totally in the zone. When he stops he returns to his jail cell of the unknowing.
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Postby anti-m » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:30 am

I'll have to check this book out -- Dr. Sachs talks about the case of the man with Alzheimer's on Radiolab, which, I think I've mentioned, is a really fantastic show on public radio!
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Postby frankie big face » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 pm

I bought this book pretty much the day it came out, but wasn't quite ready to read it (opted for the latest Nick Hornby novel instead). I actually can't wait to read it, but the mood wasn't quite right. His other books are great as well, especially An Anthropologist on Mars. Roymond, you are the man!

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