wp78a911a2.png wp39b0f0c5.png






wpab073de1.png wp627e0c74.png


wp8ffb4b8d.png wp0cdc0812.png



Birds do it, whales do it, most people do it. We sing out. It’s a magical thing. Song has extraordinary power to move us—to make us feel sad or happy or in the mood to mate. But what exactly makes the magic work? How does music effect our brains? What makes it come out of our mouths in so many different forms and what separates the shower singers from Maria Callas or Ice Cube? Why do people who sing well fill us with such admiration and affection?

We’ll have a pass at all of these on September 19, when Categorically Not! starts singing.

We’ll start with a classically trained vocalist from USC’s Thorton School of Music who turned to, yes, neuroscience to figure out exactly how honing such skills changes our brains. Now in her fourth year of graduate study at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, PhD candidate Meghen Miles will tell us about her research into the effects of conservatory education on the anatomy of the brains of undergraduate music majors compared to undergraduate architecture majors. Her work illuminates the surprising plasticity of the brain: Practice appears to make lasting anatomical changes.

Song involves more than mindware, of course. Crooning and belting alike require carefully choreographed air flows, tissue vibration and shaping of air cavities. Making this corporal choreography visible is the specialty of Krishna Nayak, an Associate Professor of Engineering from the USC’s Viterbi School. Using real time MRI “movies” of professional singers, Krishna will compare sopranos, rappers and more, and tell us how he gets his remarkable pictures. These state of the art imaging techniques have many applications, including medical diagnoses and speech therapy.

And now for the appreciation and applause part of the program. We’ll have two songs from Pat Whiteman, who recently performed to standing-room-only audiences in Hollywood with her new show “The Mood I’m In.” She teaches at UCLA performing arts, and is a graduate of the Cabaret Conference at Yale. Following Pat, we have professional actor/singers, Kristin Iazzetta, Rachel Avery, Matthew Elkins, Tracie Lockwood, and Michael Redfield on keyboard. All are members of the Pacific Resident Theater and The Rogue Machine. They’ve performed together in plays and theatre cabarets.   (Please click their names for links to credits, current performances and CDs.) 

This program will take place at our usual home, Santa Monica Art Studios. Come at 6 for refreshments and wander the studios. Program begins at 6:30. We ask for a $5 donation to cover expenses.        

Please RSVP to 310-397-7449       info@santamonicaartstudios.com

Note: This program is part of Social Media Week, Los Angeles, which means that all attendees are invited to tweet, blog, broadcast and otherwise share the festivities in any way you like on the social media of your choice.

Home About Us Upcoming Events Past Events At the Hangar