Willamette U Think presents The Musical Brain

Are you reminded of that awful breakup every time you hear “that” song, or do you feel profoundly connected to certain pieces of music or other art? On Jan. 11, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., Willamette University’s U Think series highlights the intersection of neuroscience and music with “The Musical Brain.”

“We’ll explore how we evolved the ability to perceive music, art and beauty. This short talk will consider the physics of sound, the mechanism of hearing, the process of cognition, the building blocks of music and the way they work together to move us to tears or elevate us to ecstasy,” said Grant Linsell, director of the university’s Wind and Percussion Program.

Linsell has a bachelor’s in music education, master’s in music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Ensemble Conducting. At Arizona State University, Linsell was a research fellow in the Arts, Media and Engineering Program’s Motion Analysis Lab/Intelligent Stage, where his projects involved conductor motion analysis and developing a musically-responsive computer system. Originally from Detroit, Mich., Linsell taught at a middle school in downtown Detroit and in the city’s performing arts high school before becoming a professor, respected clinician and sought-after guest conductor.

Willamette U Think features professors in an informal environment. The free presentations are geared for the public, and no background knowledge is needed. A question and answer session will follow the talk.

At 189 Liberty St. NE, between Court and State Streets in downtown Salem, Brown's Towne Lounge is open to adults over 21. Tables fill quickly, so arrive early to enjoy food and drink specials before the discussion.