Sound surrounds us. Whether it's sound we choose to hear, like the music we play in our headphones, or sound we'd rather do without, like the noise of the city, we live in a sonic world that we seldom think twice about. But sound can cure the sick and make the blind see. It can even change the taste of food. Sound is affecting us, and the world we inhabit, in many fascinating and surprising ways. Sonic Magic: The Wonder and Science of Sound reveals the historic power, promise, and potential of sound - and a strange phenomenon called cymatics that has created a new scientific mystery. Filmed in Canada, Italy, England, Australia, and the US, Sonic Magic takes us behind the scenes in cutting-edge hospitals and research labs where sound is eliminating cancer tumours without surgery, stopping neurological disorders, and may even reverse the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. The documentary will introduce us to the fields of acoustic ecology and acoustic engineering, showing us how sound shaped our history, and is being shaped to improve communication and enhance our public spaces.
For Terry Riley's 70th birthday, the Kronos Quartet commissioned him to write a piece for them, and he decided to include pipa player Wu Man (who also sings), as well as drum, rattle, various toys, and synthesizer. It's the most eclectic piece Riley has written for Kronos; he outdoes himself in the number of world music traditions, Western styles, and eccentric instruments he incorporates into The Cusp of Magic, whose title refers to the summer solstice.