Friday, March 05, 2010

iProf: Professor Steven Sabat's Musical Picks

In our first iProf Playlist, we are excited to feature tunes chosen by Professor Steven Sabat, an esteemed member of the Psychology Department. Professor Sabat is a specialist in Neuropsychology, with research focusing on people with Alzheimer's disease. Though known for his dynamic lectures, engaging teaching style and passion for his research, we at WGTB are particularly impressed with Professor Sabat's ear for music. Below, the tunes he's been enjoying most recently:
(click for his descriptions after the jump!)

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1. Don McLean -- "And I Love You So"
Don McLean was a favorite of mine when I was in grad school. Some songs were haunting, others tapped into the feeling of a time (such as "American Pie"), in others, like
"Vincent", he spoke in a way for a tortured, but incredible, artist. His ability to reach authentic emotions always impressed me.

These three were animating spirits of a time of great idealism, great anguish, great upheaval, great commitment. They were civilized at a time when, as Phil Ochs said, "You say you must protest, you must protest, it is your diamond duty/Ah, but in such an ugly time, the true protest is beauty."

Nat King Cole said that his voice had no range. Yet, he touched the hearts of millions around the world. He sang his songs in many languages that he, himself, did not speak, but he would be loved as a result and showed that music was truly a universal language.

How can one not listen to The Beatles? They speak to us today, no matter what our age in years might be.

I saw Dave Brubeck last spring here in D.C. play this song. He is 88 years old now,physically more frail than ever, but still a musical genius.

This (link above, not playlist version) is the version from "Black and White Night"-- a live performance in LA, wherein Orbison was accompanied by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, James Burton, K.D. Lang, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, and others. Amazing for Orbison and the incredible guitar interlude.
There is something neat about the idea that a late 20th century song would include Gallileo and his "crime" of telling the truth about the number of heavenly bodies and how that number exceeded what the "truth-makers" of the time insisted was "G-d's favorite number (7)."

Perhaps the most wonderful rendition of a song that celebrates the deep, abiding reality that we human beings are interdependent -- that we need one another, that "men and women for others" means something very, very real and fundamental.
Watch Playing for Change's "Stand By Me" here:

1 comment:

tiller said...

ratemyprofessor eat your heart out