Ear Meal

Weekly, live performances by experimental musicians.

John Galvin & Dan Kapelovitz

John Galvin has been a researcher at the House Research Institute in Los Angeles (formerly the House Ear Institute) for more than 15 years, where he has studied speech, music, and psychophysical perception with cochlear implant patients. He has also recorded and played music with various Los Angeles musicians, including members of the Supreme Dicks, Threee Geniuses, The Partridge Family Temple, and even Angelyne.

Dan Kapelovitz’s projects include the highly influential experimental TV shows “Threee Geniuses” and “Kapelovision,” the made-for-TV-movie meta-drama “Triple Fisher: The Lethal Lolitas of Long Island,” and the Operation Freakout album “Live From NAMM,” a sonic audio aural onslaught of dozens of surreptitiously recorded improvisations at the world’s largest music-products convention. He will be playing a prototype of his patent-pending-pending instrument, the Synæsthesizer™ — a photo-theremin/strobe light loop configuration, in which a photo-theremin is triggered by a strobe light, which, paradoxically, was already triggered by the photo-theremin.

Tonight, they will be improvising based on the signal processing and auditory perception of a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is a true medical miracle, in that it allows the totally deaf to hear. Many cochlear implant users are able to understand speech very well, but music perception is difficult due to the nature of direct electrical stimulation of the ear. Rhythm sounds good, but pitch and timbre are distorted and warped. Some patients are able to combine residual acoustic hearing with the electric hearing from the implant, and greatly improve music perception and appreciation. However, the quality of sound with acoustic and electric stimulation is so different that it can be difficult to fuse the two. This is a clinical problem to solve, but also an experimental music opportunity to explore. Tonight’s improvisation will incorporate a real-time acoustic simulation of a cochlear implant, combined at times with unprocessed acoustic sounds. The improvisation will explore sounds that translate well through the implant (and those that do not).

Series Guide + Past Episodes

Previous Artists

Join the Discussion

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.