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We look around us—constantly. But how often do we listen around us? Sound is critically important to our bodies and brains, and to the wider natural world. In the womb, we hear before we see. Join John Schaefer, Jamshed Bharucha, Christopher Shera, the Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard and multi-instrumentalists Polygraph Lounge for a fascinating journey through the nature of sound. How we perceive it, how it acts upon us and how it profoundly affects our well-being—including a demonstration of sounds produced by sources as varied as the human inner ear and the creation of the universe itself.

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Moderator

John SchaeferRadio Host

John Schaefer is the host and producer of WNYC’s long-running new music show New Sounds, which Billboard magazine has called “the #1 radio show for the Global Village,” founded in 1982, and its innovative Soundcheck podcast, which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests.

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Participants

Polygraph LoungeSingers, Comedians

Polygraph Lounge is the virtuosic duo of Mark Stewart and Rob Schwimmer, a multi-instrumentalist song and comedy team who specialize in musical mayhem. The New York Times has said “mad genius should always be this much fun.”

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Mark WhittleAstronomer

Mark Whittle uses large optical and radio telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, to study processes occurring within 1,000 light years of the central supermassive black hole in Active Galaxies.

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Christopher SheraPhysicist, Auditory Physiologist

Christopher Shera has done extensive research in solving fundamental problems in the mechanics and physiology of the peripheral auditory system. His work focuses on how the ear amplifies, analyzes, and emits sound.

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Jacob KirkegaardArtist

Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard explores sound in art with a scientific approach. He focuses on the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound and hearing. His installations, compositions, and performances deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain imperceptible.

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