Björk, Musicophilia, and Face Blindness

A sneak preview of Hallucinations will run in the New Yorker’s issue dated August 27th, on stands August 20, 2012 (barring last-minute scheduling changes by the magazine). The book itself will be published November 6, but you can preorder it now.

Also this Sunday, August 5th, CBS’s “60 Minutes” will rebroadcast their story about faceblindness, featuring Dr. Sacks, artist Chuck Close, and others who can’t recognize their own friends. More about this on Dr. Sacks’s YouTube channel, or in The Mind’s Eye, where Dr. Sacks writes about his lifelong inability to remember faces, and how he copes with that. He might recognize Björk, but only if she’s looking like this:


Dr. Sacks might seem to be an unlikely Björk fan, but then again, Björk’s latest album, Biophilia, was inspired in part by his book Musicophilia. For both of them, music is a powerful lens to look at the beauty of science and art. Last week, Dr. Sacks (famously computer illiterate though he is!) was introduced to Björk’s Biophilia iPad app, and was enchanted by it.

If you are in the UK or Europe, tune in to BBC Channel 4 on August 27 for a new film about music in nature and what music means for humans—featuring David Attenborough, Björk and Dr. Sacks. (The show is not yet scheduled for US distribution, but if we hear anything, we’ll let you know.)

Finally, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area: Tickets are now on sale for Dr. Sacks’s event at City Arts and Lectures, Monday, November 12, 2012.