Oliver Sacks must have a new book out or something*. I’ve heard him twice in as many days in radio pieces, and that usually means only one thing. He’s always an interesting interviewee, and this time the focus is on music. The first piece I heard was one of those amusingly produced pieces by Robert Krulwich, on NPR’s Morning Edition. It was all about people who essentially hallucinate music – it spontaneously appears in their ears and there’s often nothing they can do about it. The audio for the piece can be heard here. It was quite a good piece and I recommend it.
The next thing I heard was on the BBC World Service (my usual late night listening) the segment called “The Interview”. This is a much longer piece, talking about the role of music in his field more generally.
Oliver Sacks is a doctor who treats patients with extreme neurological conditions. On The Interview he tells Carrie Gracie how music has a very special place in him life and how it has been effective in his treatments as a way of unlocking patients’ responses — most famously with a pianist who lost his memory but could still play a Bach concerto.
You can download and podcast and so forth here. (Direct link to the mp3 file
I really enjoyed it.
Let us know what you think.
*Ah, yes. I remember them mentioning it now, and I see from the NPR transcript that it is called Musicophilia.