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Aleks Krotoski explores our urge to converge and how the digital era can throw us in and out of sync with the universe and each other.

Listen to the chimes of Big Ben stiking midnight at new year, on the stroke of 12 we cheer, embrace and kiss loved ones but when did that actually happen. Well it depends on what device you're listening to. If its over the web or digital radio it could be many seconds in the past; does that matter, what happens to those seconds in between?

Aleks Krotoski mediatates on our urge to converge and how the digital era can throw us in and out of sync with the universe and each other.

Producer: Peter McManus

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30 minutes

Professor Alain Goriely

Professor Alain Goriely
Shortly after receiving his Ph.D in mathematical physics from the University of Brussels in 1994, Alain Goriely joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona where he established a research group within the renowned Program of Applied Mathematics. He joined the University of Oxford as the Chair of Mathematical Modelling in 2010. Currently, he is the director of the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and of the International Brain mechanics and Trauma Lab. 

He is the author of Integrability and Nonintegrability (2011), The mathematics and mechanics of biological Growth (2017), and of Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction (2018).

Richard Palumbo

Richard Palumbo

Rick Palumbo, PhD is a behavioral scientist and mental health counselor who specializes in interpersonal physiology – the study of social dynamics using physiological measures. He has a clinical practice in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, USA, and is a research affiliate with the Affective Computing group at MIT’s media lab. He is currently collaborating on a project that assesses the feasibility of real-time displays of physiological synchrony during couples counseling.

Maggie Holtzberg

Maggie Holtzberg

Maggie Holtzberg is Manager of the Folk Arts & Heritage Program at Mass Cultural Council (1999 to the present). As a folklorist, she works closely with traditional artists and communities through documentary fieldwork, grant programs, presenting, and technical assistance. She has conducted field research throughout the state of Massachusetts documenting traditional arts and established a traditional arts archive and website. 

She is author of Keepers of Tradition: Art and Folk Heritage in Massachusetts (2008), The Lost World of the Craft Printer (1992), Portrait of Spirit: One Story at a Time (1996), producer of the sound recording Georgia Folk: A Sampler of Traditional Sound (1990), and co-director/producer of the documentary film Gandy Dancers (1994). Holtzberg holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania and served as Folklife Program Director of the Georgia Council for the Arts prior to coming to Massachusetts. 

Balla Kouyate

Balla Kouyate
Balla Kouyaté was born in another village while his mother was traveling. The chief of this village said the newborn should be named Balla, after himself. That is how Balla was given the name of his ancestor, Balla Fasseké Kouyaté, the first Djeli of the Mandé Empire and owner of the very, first balafon. To this day the 1000 year-old balafon remains in his family, guarded by his father, El Hadji Sekou Kouyaté, the Sosso Balatigui. It is considered a UNESCO artifact of Oral and Intangible History.
As a Djeli Balla has the responsibility of maintaining the history ad traditions of the Mande people through music and storytelling.

He is considered a balafon virtuoso and an innovator of this traditional instrument. Born in Mali, he was raised in the tradition, learning from his father beginning at the age of six. His knowledge of this traditional repertoire is unparalleled for his generation.

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