The Brains Behind It All

Category: community 96

Shivering Songs examine music’s effect on the brain with unique festival event.

Jim Bryson
Jim Bryson will join JOYFULTALK and Dr. Wendy Stewart for this one-of-a-kind festival event. Photo by Rémi Thériault.

No two Shivering Songs festivals are the same. Part of what makes this mid-winter music gathering such an exciting break in the monotony of winter has to do with how organizers walk the line between predictability and the unexpected.  While each new edition of the festival brings a wealth of celebrated songwriters to the city, festival goers can expect to make new discoveries each year, whether it be a new voice or simply having a new and memorable community experience.

This Is Your Brain On Music is one event that for many, will no doubt pair both a new music experience with something truly memorable. Combining both a new festival venue (the Fredericton Public Library) and what may be the festival’s first interactive performance, This Is Your Brain On Music will bring Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Jim Bryson and the electro-instrumental ensemble JOYFULTALK together with neurologist and Dalhousie Medical School professor Dr. Wendy Stewart for a unique performance/discussion.

“Dr. Wendy Stewart is a neurologist and a musician and has a great interest in what your brain does when you listen and experience music, and she has a presentation she delivers based on that idea” said Shivering Songs’ Graeme Walker. “We wanted to take it one step further for our event and if all goes as planned, she’ll be able to monitor someone’s brain while they listen to the show and she’ll be able explain why people feel what they feel. That’s the idea.”

“Jim Bryson will perform some of his songs and JOYFULTALK will perform their music,” said Walker. “Those are two very different types of music. The hope is that we’ll be able to see a difference and talk about that. This is a total experiment so it will be interesting to see how it all comes together.”

As one of two shows for Jim Bryson during the festival, the Ottawa musician is looking forward to participating for the first time in such a unique performance.

“I don’t know that I’m specifically preparing for this,” said Bryson, “but I’m an open kind of person, so I definitely am intrigued and dare I say excited to take part in a unique musical evening like this. It is definitely a first time I have been a part of this type of combination.”

“To be a person playing the music and just being in the room for such an experiment is a rare pleasure,” he said. “I just hope everyone doesn’t respond by falling asleep to my songs.”

This Is Your Brain On Music | Friday January 20, 2017 | Fredericton Public Library | Doors at 6 p.m. | Show at 7 p.m. | View Event

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