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Rhythm is the very essence of life. But how might we describe it and can we actually detect it? We discuss with discuss Rhythm astrophysicist Professor B. S. Sathyaprakash, composer Anna Meredith, music theorist Professor Christopher Hasty and musician Keith Waithe.

(Photo: Tabla. Credit: BBC)

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41 minutes

Last on

Tue 17 Feb 2015 09:05GMT



  • B.S. Sathyaprakash

    Sathya talks about his search for gravitational waves

    Duration: 13:31

  • Keith Waithe

    Keith explains his own search for rhythm and demonstrates with two flutes

    Duration: 06:43

  • Christopher Hasty

    Christopher wants to re-appropriate rhythm as a joyous human experience

    Duration: 07:43

  • Anna Meredith

    Anna talks about her work with voice percussion and beatboxing

    Duration: 09:27

B.S. Sathyaprakash

B.S. Sathyaprakash

Professor B.S Sathyaprakash works at the Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy in the UK and is looking for gravitational waves- the rhythms of the Universe, first predicted by Albert Einstein.  His interest is in detecting these waves that exist in theory, find out how they are produced and discover what they can tell us about the universe.

Keith Waithe

Keith Waithe

Keith Waithe is an award winning flautist, composer, teacher, expert proponent of vocal gymnastics and leader of The Macusi Players who plays and composes music blending rhythms from the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa.  Keith mixes many sounds from his collection of over 200 flutes and he’s especially interested in how we use and respond to rhythm.

And you can see some of Keith's various flutes in the gallery on the right-hand side of the page. 

Christopher Hasty

Christopher Hasty

Christopher Hasty is Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music at Harvard University. Christopher wants to celebrate rhythm as a joyous expression of life and bring the humanities and science together in a way that recognises rhythm as the ultimate paradox; both chaos and order. His book, Meter as Rhythm (1997) is widely accepted as a one of the most authoritative works of its kind and he’s currently working on a book about the rhythmic formation of event, ‘Thinking with Rhythm’.

Anna Meredith

Anna Meredith
Anna Meredith is a Scottish composer and performer of electronic and acoustic music. Anna makes music in a variety of different ways and spaces and is at home in a concert hall as in a city centre youth club. She is especially interested in setting up rhythmic expectation and then disrupting it- and observing how an audience reacts. Her work with body percussion and beat-boxing is a good example of this.

And you can see a photo still from Anna Meredith's body percussion piece 'Connect It' from the film '10 Pieces' in the gallery on the right-hand side


  • Mon 16 Feb 2015 03:05GMT
  • Tue 17 Feb 2015 09:05GMT