According to Mickey Hart, "A superorganism is a complex organism composed of many smaller organisms. A band is a superorganism, so is the universe." In the past two years, Hart (Grateful Dead/Mickey Hart Band) has sonified the Universe, the Golden Gate Bridge, the America's Cup, and now, he is going even deeper.
On his new record "Superorganism",which was released last month, Hart is breaking new ground by combining music with science and the human body. "For the last few years I have been creating music from the source sounds of the cosmos and now the body."
"These sounds are noise—harsh, strange—and it is only after dancing with their essence face to face that music can be created. This time we journey into the micro, the hidden worlds of rhythm within us, within our bodies," says Hart. "My brain wave signals are re-imagined in sound using a cap with electrodes that can read the throbs and signals of the brain. I have also sonified the sounds of stem cells, and heart rhythms for this recording. " On Superorganism, Hart has once again paired up with longtime collaborator and Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter, as well as, many special guest musicians. The album cover features an MRI scan of Hart’s brain as well as his brain activity, as captured through an EEG cap. Hart will be performing live with the same EEG cap on his upcoming 70th birthday tour. Hart and his bandmates return to the Fillmore this Friday night.
The band kicked off their Superorganism Tour in Healdsburg, CA on August 1. (They'll be in San Francisco at the Fillmore this Friday, September 6th). They will be joined by the Tea Leaf Trio (Trevor Garrod, Reed Mathis and Cochrane McMillan of Tea Leaf Green) for most of their stops. Mathis will also play with Mickey Hart Band each night.
In addition, Hart will perform with an EEG cap on his while he plays the sounds of his brain. For an example of how this works, check out this video
of Hart’s talk at the AARP convention in New Orleans last November.
For a glimpse of Superorganism, a six minute soundclip from Hart's website features snippets from the new album.
E. "Doc" Smith is a musician and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart and many others. He is also the Arts & Entertainment editor for Beyond Chron and inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick.