I’m wildly excited about next Monday’s lecture in the Connections series (the events I’m guest curating at the Royal Institution) – Hearing Connections: The sonification of natural systems. This is the final lecture in the series, and it takes a lateral step in the theme by looking at the physiological connections in our brains and how they can be used as inspiration for artistic expression. Specifically, the lecture is a demonstration of how a group of exceptionally talented musicians and scientists have translated neuronal pathways into sound.

There are four people involved in this event, a collaboration team of different disciplines. I have posed five questions to each of them – Nick Ryan, John Matthias, Daniel Jones and Daniel Glaser – in order to find out what they will uniquely bring to the Ri that evening. They’re the same five New Statesman asked me in advance of mine and Kat’s lecture on 8 November.

Here are Daniel Jones’ responses.

What is the event?
Hearing Connections is the last in the RIGB ‘Connections’ series, here examining the ways in which sound can give us a new perspective on the natural world — and how the natural world can inform our musical composition.

Why are you involved?
I am a doctoral researcher in computational biology, but arrived at this point via a background in sound art. The two continue to inform each other, and I will be proposing that ecosystems and music actually have a great deal in common…

Why should people come?
Because it promises to give a fascinating, whirlwind overview of the patterns that underlie culture, art and nature alike. Who could fail to be thrilled at evolution’s creativity being applied to composition, or using music to illuminate new scientific discoveries?

What questions should they ask?
Where else do these kinds of patterns crop up? And: where else might we be able to fruitfully apply them?

What homework should they do?
We won’t be assuming any technical knowledge, but Steven Johnson’s Emergence and Steven Strogatz’ Sync should both be essential reading for anybody interested in this area.

Come to Hearing Connections: The sonification of natural systems on Monday 21st November. Use code SONIC to get 50% off the ticket price!