July Prof & A Pint

Associate Professor of Music Ben Leeds Carson has spent most of his career composing music under the influence of philosophy and neuroscience—drawing on contemporary studies of time perception and memory to explore new possibilities for rhythm and musical form. His new work proposes to return the favor: what can mind scientists learn from the arts? Join us as he discusses the work of composers, music theorists, and film theorists whose discoveries about rhythm, the perception of time, and the subjectivity of listening can help us answer some of our most persistent questions about identity, memory, and consciousness.


How We Know When the Song is Over: Rhythm Perception, Musical Form, and Theories of Mind
Professor Ben Leeds Carson
Monday, July 8, 2019
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The Forager Tasting Room and Eatery
In Downtown San Jose


Carson's music is available on Centaur Records, Albany Records, and on San Diego's "Soundcheck" series, and has been performed throughout the U.S. and at international festivals, including Aspen, "June in Buffalo," Gerngesehen (Köln), and New England Conservatory's Summer Institute for the Contemporary Piano. Concerts have been dedicated to Carson's work at Sydney Conservatory's 2005 "Music and Social Justice" conference, at Columbia University's Music Performance Program (2009), and for the International Society for Improvised Music (2010). Carson's recent work has moved in the direction of music drama, and includes an opera based on a Star Trek teleplay by Gene Roddenberry, partially premiered in a workshop performance directed in June 2016 by John de Lancie (acclaimed guest director of Atlanta Opera and San Antonio opera, earlier of Star Trek: Next Generation, and Breaking Bad) with acclaimed baritones Aleksey Bogdanov and David Cushing.

Carson has been an Artist/Researcher-in-Residence for the Perception Laboratory at IRCAM (Institute de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique). His writing appears in the American Journal of Psychology, and the Journal of New Music Research, ECHO, the Institute for Advanced Feminist Studies' Shock and Awe: War on Words, and in other publications. He joined the University of California, Santa Cruz faculty in Music in 2003, and is affiliated with the Digital Arts / New Media faculty. At UCSC, he has been a recipient of the UCSC Excellence in Teaching Award (2011), and the Arts Division's Excellence in Mentorship Award (2014). He currently serves as Provost of UCSC's Kresge College.