Episode 4: The Science of Rhythm

In the words of 90’s eurodance group SNAP! - Rhythm is a dancer, it’s a source companion, people feel it everywhere. But how do our brains perceive and respond to rhythmic sounds?

This month on Sound Science Podcast, we ask what happens between our ears in response to incoming rhythmic sensory inputs - in other words, how do we find the beat? Moving to the music that we hear is an intuitive behaviour bestowed upon us before we can even walk. As we develop into adults, we start doing it on purpose. Some of us are quite good at it, while some of us would swear we have no sense of rhythm, but can rhythm be taught? For a small percentage of the population with a condition called “beat deafness” - the answer may be no and we explore why. On the flip side, drummers provide the timing and rhythmic foundation in a musical ensemble, we ask what it means to create rhythm in this way and look into how drum music, can be therapeutic in treating a number of neurological disorders, regardless of how well we move.




Heidi Prendergast

Heidi Prendergast is a dancer, choreographer and dance teacher based in Los Angeles. She currently teaches movement, dance, and yoga. Heidi also creates her own works using video and sound. You can watch her latest project “How Does It Feel To Be Light” here.

Heidi Prendergast is a dancer, choreographer and dance teacher. Heidi started her classical dance training at age 14 and received a BFA in dance and choreography from the University of Colorado. After graduating she moved to New York where she continued to perform, with various dance companies and her own work, at Dance New Amsterdam, Triskillieon Arts, The Kitchen, St. Marks and other venues. Since moving to Los Angeles Heidi has been teaching movement, dance, and yoga throughout southern California focusing on alignment and strength in all forms, and creates her own work using video and sound in collaboration with other artists.


Pauli The PSM

Pauli, The PSM is a drummer, recording artist and music director. He has played with Gorillaz, Kindness and Sampha, and worked with FKA Twigs and Jamie xx. As a solo artist, Pauli has released three singles and two EPs. Listen here.

Pauli Stanley-McKenzie, also known as Pauli, The PSM is a drummer, recording artist and music director. He got his big break working with Gorillaz and later African Express - projects fronted by Blur frontman Damon Albarn. He has also played drums for Damon Albarn on his solo tour, Kindness and more recently, Sampha. Pauli has also worked off stage, serving as a music director for FKA Twigs and Jamie xx. Pauli’s first single as a recording artist ‘Give Me A Sign’ was released in 2014. Since then, he released his debut EP ‘The Idea of Tomorrow’ and debuted his first live show as a solo artist during Paris Fashion Week at Les Bains Paris in 2017. His latest EP, ‘Secret Life of a Badman’ is available on Apple Music.


Pegasus Warning

Guillermo E. Brown, aka Pegasus Warning, is a jazz musician and multi-disciplinary performer. He has received critical acclaim for his work and collaborated with a number or respected artists.

Pegasus Warning is alter ego of Guillermo E. Brown and can be described as a supernova of experimental R&B and soulful synths. Raised in New York by an American ethnomusicologist-healer and Panamanian priest-wizard, Brown always opted for the path unknown from a young age. The jazz percussionist’s idiosyncratic visions have prompted collaborations with Saul Williams, Twin Shadow, Jamie Lidell, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, Mocky, Nia Andrews and EL-P of Run the Jewels to name a few. His music has received support from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, Afropunk, FADER, Interview Mag, Pigeons & Planes, BBC1xtra, Elton John and more.

Brown is a graduate of Wesleyan University (BA) and Bard College (MFA), he was a professor at NYU in Afrofuturism and History of the Electronic Avant-Garde (2006-2008) and Artist-In-Residence at Pacific Northwest College of Art (2010). He is a recipient of two EMMY’s, the 2016 Creative Capital Award in Performing Arts for Bee Boy, a recipient of Harvestworks New Works residency (2001), Van Lier Fellowship (2002), MAP Fund (2017) and a residency at MIT’s Center for Art, Science, and Technology (2016-2017). Most recently he appears as the drummer in the house band (KAREN) of The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS, with music director Reggie Watts. Stay tuned for new music in 2019.


Track listing

Art Barkley and the African Ensemble - Obirin African (Woman Of Africa)

Full Crate - L'Afrique

Ozo - Anambra 

Bombers - Shake

Tru Tones - Dancing

Populous - Alala

Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band - Bukom Mashie

Afefe Iku - Mirror Dance

J Dilla - Vol. 2 (VINTAGE) mix by Gaby Erikson

Francis Bebey - Sunny Crypt

McCoy Tyner - Man From Tanganyika

Missy Elliot - She’s A Bitch

Dj Marfox - Tarraxo Everyday

Ezra Collective - Juan Pablo: The Philosopher

Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin - De i Comahlee Ah

Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin - Ti Ti

Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin - The Tob

Pegasus Warning - Building a Bridge

DJ Python - q.e.p.d

Black Skin, Black Masks - Shabaka Hutchkins

MC Jean Gab'1 & Tony Allen - Black (Slow Instrumental)

Stevie Wonder - Superstition

Marie Davidson - Work

Fela Kuti & The Africa '70 - Let's Start (with Ginger Baker) [Live]

Listen to the episode playlist on Spotify



Yewande Pearse