Mickey Hart Is Playing His Brain as a Musical Instrument and it Sounds Weeeiiirrddd

So how's this for trippy: Mickey Hart, former drummer for legendary cranium-rearrangers the Grateful Dead, is now actually playing the arrangement of his cranium. Mostly as a light show, but partly as a musical instrument.

Hart, who turned 70 yesterday, has teamed up with a professor from UCSF to make a brain-cap thing that captures the activity of his noodle's neurons and translates it into a light show. With sound. You can see his brain light up in different colors on a big screen, and noise comes out of this contraption, although it's not terribly musical. Hart's live performances rely on more conventional instruments like guitars and drums to enter the realm of Actual Music. The “brain noises,” as NPR explains, aren't really brain noises anyway — just musical notes randomly assigned to different brain waves. But maybe this is comforting? Dunno about you, but when we're thinking, we generally do not notice the clicks and pops our brain makes, much less whether they land in the key of B flat.

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