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The Science of Sound

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Synesthesia

Natural phenomena have a multitude of informational aspects. When they occur and hit our perception it usually separates them into the five general channels called senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. That is how we can easily distinguish and grasp sensory data. Nevertheless, the source of perceptional data is usually intertwined and has more than one of these aspects. There is a neurological condition called synesthesia, in which information meant to stimulate one of your senses stimulates several of them. Of course, that could be a really confusing state of mind, one that could raise a lot of difficulties for our understanding. However, from another point of view, such a perception could bring unexpected and beautiful facets of reality, which can enrich our knowledge of nature and human consciousness. Although it could be hard to imagine what is the color of sweet or how a sound looks like, now, thanks to the fruitful union of Science and Art, synesthesia has been embodied in a tangible form.

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The poetry of Janet MacFadyen - where Science meets Art

photo © by Stephen Schmidt

When Science meets Art

Scientific and artistic activities have had a long and incredibly complicated, we could say "love-hate" relationship throughout human history. From time to time, they were promoting and enhancing each other, whereupon an epoch of mutual criticism and condemnation followed. Nowadays, most people imagine Science and Art somehow separately, as two distinct and incompatible essences of the human mind. As though one is dealing with the objective reality and the other with an amalgam of material world and imagination, hence the former have to be superior in reasoning to the latter. Now, that would be the case if we take the presumption that the physical world is somehow dead or could be taken out of the ceaseless motion of the Universe to be examined as an object. However, Nature is alive and in constant interaction with all of its inhabitants. 

We could speculate that the negligence towards the living character of Nature was indeed one of the main reasons we ended up with a climate crisis. Nevertheless, with the emergence of climate and environmental issues, a new vision appeared, or maybe an ancient one manifests once again. There are tendencies among various scientists and artists, in which both perspectives reconcile and bear new forms of perception towards Nature – more like a dialogue instead of research.

Janet MacFadyen – an American poet and scientific researcher – is one of the many who feels the need to change our attitude towards, and concepts of, natural phenomena. She gracefully expresses that feeling. MacFadyen transforms scientific perception into vivid poetic imagery that invokes deep insights into Nature and our connection with it. Her poems transmogrify hills and rocky formations into cities, stones and crystals into ancient teachers, rivers and brooks into the circulatory system of our living and breathing Mother Earth.

Below you can enjoy and reflect upon Janet MacFadyen's statement and meditative poetry!
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