Los Angeles Times on Tod Machover’s vision for personalized music

Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed made the 90-minute drive up to Santa Barbara last week to attend Tod Machover’s talk on “Music, Mind and Health: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Well-being through Active Sound,” one of four lectures he gave recently at the university’s Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. In today’s issue, Swed reflects on the concept of music as therapy and a future in which each of us could have music that is tailored to our individual psyches. Tod’s new CD “…but not simpler…” gets a nice mention too!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Machover, an intriguing futurologist as well as an inventive composer, runs the departments in hyper-instruments (acoustical instruments given spiffy electronic features) and opera of the future at MIT‘s ultra-high-tech Media Lab…Music, Machover said, touches on just about every aspect of cognition. There are theories that music exists to exercise the mind and to help coordinate its separate functions. Music lovers intuitively know what researchers have verified, that music modulates our moods, helps us move, stimulates our language skills, strengthens our memories and can wondrously bring about emotional responses without their bothersome consequences…

“In an inspiring feedback loop, Machover and his MIT minions, which include some of the nation’s most forward-looking graduate students, are applying their musical gadgets to therapy. The process of making remarkable restorative advances is changing how they think about and make music. And that could affect how the rest of us might think about and make music in the not-so-distant future.”

Read the full article here: Musical therapy is making breakthroughs

Dan Ellsey and Tod Machover (credit MIT Media Lab)

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