Tuesday, December 03, 2013
By Robert Krulwich : Host, Radiolab
Look inside most machines today and what do you find? Computer chips functioning mysteriously. Gaze at a 1920's Rube Goldberg cartoon and what do you find? Machines powered by hungry parrots and angry ladies. Will future tools stay inscrutable or become more Rube-like? Here's a guess.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
In his latest story for the New Yorker, staff writer Adam Gopnik explores the science behind the human experience of music. It all started when Gopnik realized a profound difference in the way he and his teenage children listen to music. While Gopnik and his peers grew up solemnly listening to long-form LPs on superb stereo systems, his kids "snatch at" smaller bits of music via earbuds and laptops. As he told Soundcheck's John Schaefer: "I would say, 'I can't listen to this on that lousy speaker on your computer!'"
A desire to understand this generational gap led Gopnik on a journey that spans rocket science, psychology and sociology, which he documents in his New Yorker piece, "Music To Your Ears: The Quest For 3-D Recording and Other Mysteries of Sound."
Gopnik describes visiting the lab of Edgar Choueiri, a rocket scientist determined to create a method of listening to sound in three dimensions. Choueiri allowed Gopnik to test out his “magic box” with a song of Gopnik’s choice: the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.” The experience, says Gopnik, was thrilling.
“[He] plugged it in,” he recounts, “And suddenly, there it was, Keith Richards is stabbing away with a cigar in his mouth you could practically hear on my right, and Ronnie Wood was plucking away in that kind of syncopated way he does…. Mick Jagger was somewhere right in front of me, and Charlie Watts passively was keeping time right behind my head. I had been inserted into the center of the Stones. It was a startling, uncanny experience.”
Friday, July 27, 2012
The violinist Hilary Hahn ditches the classical repertoire and goes full improv. She performs live in the studio with the pianist Hauschka. Kurt Andersen talks with the writer Adam Gopnik about how Hollywood-style violence might have played into the massacre in a Colorado movie theater. And Karen Thompson Walker imagines ...
Monday, February 16, 2009
New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik talks to WNYC's Leonard Lopate about his new double biography Angels and Ages, which looks at the lives and legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Both men were born 200 years ago.
You can listen to Lopate ...
Saturday, January 13, 2001
Host Kurt Andersen and special guest New Yorker critic Adam Gopnik discuss why artists, musicians and people from all walks of life choose to recreate artifacts from the past - on canvas, in the concert hall and on the battlefield. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma talks about baroque music on original instruments and New Urbanist architect Andres Duany describes creating new towns from the layout of old cities. We also profile arts educator and philosopher Maxine Greene and contemplate the design of the Post-it note.
Saturday, November 11, 2000
Host Kurt Andersen and special guest New Yorker critic Adam Gopnik discuss why artists, musicians and people from all walks of life choose to recreate artifacts from the past - on canvas, in the concert hall and on the battlefield. Cellist Yo Yo Ma talks about baroque music on original ...