DATE: Saturday, September 21, 2013
TIME: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
VENUE: Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
MODERATOR: Alec Baldwin
PARTICIPANTS: Carter Burwell, Joel and Ethan Coen, Aniruddh D. Patel

A Co-Presentation of World Science Festival and the New York Philharmonic

Alec Baldwin is joined by the Coen brothers and renowned guests from the worlds of filmmaking, film music, and science to explore the uniquely powerful role of music in shaping the narrative flow and the emotional impact of film. From Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Coen brothers’ Fargo and True Grit, this program examines the creative process of scoring feature films and the neuro-scientific insights that reveal how such compositions profoundly shape the audience experience.

The Mind, Music and Moving Images is part of the New York Philharmonic’s The Art of the Score: Film Week at the Philharmonic, running September 17–21, 2013, offering two concert programs of film music—Hitchcock! and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Alec Baldwin
Artistic Advisor, Radio Host, Actor

Alec Baldwin is the artistic advisor of The Art of the Score: Film Week at the Philharmonic and the radio host of the New York Philharmonic. The actor most recently appeared on Broadway in the 2013 production of Lyle Kessler’s Orphans, following appearances including Equus (Guild Hall, 2010 production), Entertaining Mr. Sloane (the Roundabout Theatre Company, 2006 production), Loot (Broadway, 1986), Serious Money (Broadway, 1988), Prelude to a Kiss (Circle Repertory Company, in 1990 (Obie Award); A Streetcar Named Desire (Broadway, 1992); Macbeth (New York Shakespeare Festival, 1998), and The Twentieth Century (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2004), earning him Theatre World and Obie Awards as well as a Tony nomination.

Baldwin has appeared in more than 40 films, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Miami Blues, The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, Malice, The Juror, The Edge, Ghosts of Mississippi, State and Main, The Cat in the Hat, The Cooler (National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Oscar nomination), The Aviator, The Departed, and It’s Complicated. For seven years he starred as Jack Donaghy opposite Tina Fey on NBC’s 30 Rock; for his portrayal he received seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globes, the Television Critics Award, two Emmy Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series, and the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. In 2011, Baldwin received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His company, El Dorado Pictures, has produced projects including Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial for TNT (Emmy Award nomination); The Confession for Showtime (Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay); and David Mamet’s film State and Main. A dedicated supporter of public policy and arts causes, Alec Baldwin serves on the boards of the New York Philharmonic, People For The American Way, The Hamptons International Film Festival, and Guild Hall. He has partnered with Capital One to create an advertising campaign that, through the Alec Baldwin Foundation, provides funding for arts groups across the country, particularly in the New York area, and raises awareness for support of the arts. His book, A Promise to Ourselves, was published by St. Martin’s Press in paperback in 2009.


Film Composer

Carter Burwell has composed the music for many feature films written, directed, and produced by the Coen Brothers, including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, A Serious Man, and True Grit. His other film scores include those for The Spanish Prisoner, Gods and Monsters, Velvet Goldmine, Three Kings, Being John Malkovich, Before Night Falls, Adaptation, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, In Bruges, Twilight, Where The Wild Things Are, The Kids Are All Right, and Seven Psychopaths.


Joel and Ethan Coen direct, produce and write their films and are among today’s most honored and respected filmmakers. Joel was honored at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 as Best Director for The Man Who Wasn’t There, and in 1991 as Best Director for Barton Fink. In 1996, he was honored as Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and BAFTA for Fargo. The film, which Joel co-wrote with Ethan who produced, received seven Oscar nominations, winning two including Best Original Screenplay. Joel and Ethan co-wrote the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe–winning screenplay for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which Ethan produced.

Other films Joel directed and co-wrote with Ethan, which Ethan produced, are Intolerable Cruelty, The Big Lebowksi, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink (Palme D’Or/Cannes), Miller’s Crossing, Raising Arizona, and Blood Simple. Joel and Ethan co-directed the 2004 comedy The Ladykillers, again with Ethan producing. The Coens’ 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men brought them the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA, and Academy Awards for direction; the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay; Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (New York Film Critics Circle); Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay; and awards from the National Board of Review. The film’s cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award and Javier Bardem won the SAG Award and the Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. The Coens’ Burn After Reading (2008) was nominated for the BAFTA and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay. A Serious Man (2009) received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay and was also nominated for the BAFTA and WGA Awards for Best Original Screenplay. True Grit (2010) received ten Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) was awarded the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Festival.


Aniruddh D. Patel is associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Tufts University. After attending the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar, he received a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1996, where he studied with Edward O. Wilson and Evan Balaban. He then joined The Neurosciences Institute, a private basic research institute in San Diego, CA, led by Nobel Laureate Gerald M. Edelman, where he was appointed the Esther J. Burnham Senior Fellow in 2005 and remained until 2012.

Patel’s research focuses on how the brain processes music and language, especially what the similarities and differences between the two reveal about each other and about the brain itself. He has pursued this topic with a variety of techniques, including neuroimaging, theoretical analyses, acoustic research, and comparative studies of nonhuman animals. He has published over 50 research articles and a scholarly book, Music, Language, and the Brain (2008, Oxford Univ. Press), which was called “a major synthesis” by Oliver Sacks and “an intellectual tour de force” by the journal Nature, and which won a Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). Patel was awarded the 2009 Music Has Power award from the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function in New York City. He has served as President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC), and is interested in promoting research and education in the field of music cognition.