Music Mirrors Mind: Neuroaesthetics, Music, and Japanese Spirituality

January 17, 2024
Social Sciences and Media Studies (SSMS) Conference Room 2135
Gene Coleman, Composer and Director


Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and director. He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and received the Berlin Prize for Music from the American Academy in Berlin in 2013. He has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Central to his work is the inventive use of sound, image and time, and the desire to create experiences that expand our understanding of the world. Since 2001 his work has focused on the global transformation of culture and music’s relationship with neuroscience, video and architecture. His most recent research and compositions explore the concepts of Neuro Music and Neuroaesthetics. He studied painting, music and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where his teachers included experimental film artists Stan Brakhage and Ernie Gehr, Robert Snyder (music), Barbara Rossi and Oliver Jackson (painting).


In the lecture "Music Mirrors Mind," composer and director Gene Coleman explores the concepts of Neuroaesthetics and Neuro Music. Coleman defines Neuro Music as an area of research and composition based on the study and application of models and concepts from Auditory Neuroscience. He gives an introduction to his methods to compose Neuro Music, using examples from his recent works. He makes a case for why artists should understand how perception, cognition and thinking work and how they are the basis for creativity. The emerging fields of Neuro Music and Neuroaesthetics in conjunction with AI have the potential for enormous impact on the way musicians and artists think about and make their work. Additionally, Coleman will talk about his experiments with Japanese traditional musical instruments and the impact of Japanese culture and spirituality on his creative work.

Note: This event will be held at 5:30 pm in Social Sciences and Media Studies (SSMS) Conference Room 2135 on the UCSB campus. It is free and open to the public.

Mr. Coleman's events are organized by Fabio Rambelli. Supported by UCSB's Department of Religious Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, Department of Music, Department of Theater and Dance, UCSB Library (UCSB Reads), the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, UCSB Shinto Studies Endowment, and the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global.