Podcast: Arts and Sciences and Bugs

david_rothenberg_playing_cicadas_bug_music

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 17 -
Arts and Sciences and Bugs

Today’s episode of The Virtual Memories Show is a little offbeat, but I have faith in you, dear listener!

I take something that seems obscure, and it leads you to somewhere that is not where you expect.

–David Rothenberg

First, philosopher, musicologist, clarinetist and author David Rothenberg joins us to talk about his new book, Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise, and its accompanying CD. It’s a fun conversation about rhythms and meta-rhythms, 17-year cicadas, David’s lifetime of music, the joy of bringing different people’s worlds together,  how aesthetic preference sorta trumps survival of the fittest. the development of bugstep, and the secret to finding a rewarding job teaching the humanities. (And, really, you should listen just to find out that secret.)

These points in your life, you often wonder what would have happened if you’d taken the other course. I could’ve gone into theology or some bloody thing. Instead I wound up in science and I’m atheist now.

–Clive Bennett

Then (around the 43:00 mark), we have a conversation with Clive Bennett, the CEO of Halo Pharma, a pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization. I met Clive through my day job, and found him so delightfully literate, discursive and thoughtful that I asked him to record a segment on the podcast. Once I had him cornered, I asked him why he’d gone into the sciences, given his artistic, historical, musical and literary interests. (Really, I think it was just a condemnation of myself for not doing more with my time.) He decided to bring his Kindle along to reveal what he’s reading and why (and reveal himself in the process). It’s two men talking about the choices we make and those that are made for us.

Clive Bennett on the Virtual Memories Show

Enjoy the conversations! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guests

Philosopher and jazz musician David Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the author of Bug Music, Survival of the Beautiful, Why Birds Sing, and Thousand-Mile Song. He is also a composer and jazz clarinetist, and he has nine CDs out under his own name, including On the Cliffs of the Heart, named one of the top ten CDs by Jazziz Magazine in 1995. He lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.

Clive Bennett has been CEO and president of Halo Pharma since 2008. He’s spent 40 years in the pharma industry, including 23 years at Hoechst Marion Roussel (now sanofi), as well as Fisons Limited, Evolutec, and Patheon. He’s also a voracious reader, history buff, opera-goer, and a lot of other things that don’t go on a CV.

Credits: This episode’s music is Katydid Prehistory by David Rothenberg. The conversation with David Rothenberg was recorded at his childhood home in Westport, CT on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The conversation with Clive Bennett was recorded at his office in Whippany, NJ on the same equipment. The intro and outdo were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo of David playing with cicadas by Charles Lindsay. Photo of Clive & me by Sally Langa. 

Comments

3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. tThetThreetDollartBillt,

    Love, love love
    this podcast ! David Rothenberg has a musical voice, for lyrically discussing jazz & cicadas (& he seems aware of it :)

    Leave it to music to bash down all our presupposed assumptions. And if anyone made music this summer, it was cicadas!
    (Okay and Pink, R Thicke and the Head & the Heart)

    Interesting hearing more about those Brood II’s and their cycles, etc,
    Also, in 17 more years, who knows what topics we’ll have compounded onto theses, and what kooky metric-less patterns will have emerged!! I must admit interest due my birth date, which happened to coincide with a Brood II cycle. ~

    It’s hard to say where this book could develop previous ideas, namely, ones I read in Science of the Beautiful. I would have liked to see more exploration of visual art, male performance tactics & female taste as the driver of ‘fashion,’ the ideas brought forth in that work.

    I enjoyed so much being able to partake!

  2. somebody,

    So. ….Wait – is the purpose of evolution NOT to make more perfect beings…? What! Whaaaaaaaaa

    Gil, Do you consider David is more a scientist in the body of a musician, or a musician in the body of a scientist??

    :)

  3. Gil,

    I consider him a philosopher, then musicologist and/or musician. In the podcast, he pretty explicitly says that he’s not cut out for the rigors of science.

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