From Prince’s sound engineer to neuroscientist: Susan Rogers knows why you love your favourite music

todayNovember 22, 2023 2

share close

SINGAPORE – When it comes to music, one person’s pleasure can be another person’s poison. And auditory neuroscientist Susan Rogers, who used to make records with stars such as the late American singer Prince, can tell you why.

The writer of This Is What It Sounds Like: What The Music You Love Says About You will be in town as one of the speakers at the 2023 Singapore Writers Festival (SWF).

On Nov 26, she will host a meet-the-author session titled Take A Bad Song And Make It Better. 

The 67-year-old American says in a Zoom interview: “Someone will say, ‘My wife has terrible taste in music. Is there any way I can get her to like the music that I like?’ Or someone might say, ‘I used to love this kind of music, and then I got a little older, and now I like a completely different style. What does that say about me?’”

In her 2022 book, co-written with American neuroscientist Ogi Ogas, Rogers states that everyone has a unique listener profile based on how his or her brain reacts to seven aspects of recorded music: authenticity, realism, novelty, melody, lyrics, rhythm and timbre.

This Is What It Sounds Like has an accompanying website and playlist where readers can listen to the music and songs referenced in its pages. The extensive list covers many genres and crosses several time periods, from classical pieces such as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat BWV 243 to modern pop hits like Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License.

Rogers says: “I wrote the book specifically for people who are not professional musicians, people who are music lovers, music listeners.”

She will also be part of another SWF event on Nov 25, where she is one of the speakers in What Beats Do To Lyrics, a discussion on the relationship between rhythms and language.

Part of the 50 Years Of Bars, Flows And Beats segment, the event celebrates 50 years of hip-hop and also features deejay and creative influencer Charlie Dark and sound designer and deejay Ramesh Krishnan, and is moderated by poet, singer and songwriter Will Beale.

In her book, Rogers includes many personal details and anecdotes from her life in music.

In the 1970s, she started out as a technician in music studios in California, moving to Minneapolis in 1983 to eventually become Prince’s engineer.

She worked closely with the late singer, composer and musician on some of his most famous hits, including Purple Rain and When Doves Cry from his ground-breaking 1984 album Purple Rain. He died in 2016, aged 57.

Prince liked giving chances to people who did not fit the traditional mould, she adds. “The typical technician is a man, and I wasn’t. Prince liked having somebody who was a little bit different than what you would normally see. I could do the job, of course. I was good at my work.”

Source link

Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

Rate it

Electro Music Newsletter

Don't miss a beat

Sign up for the latest electronic news and special deals


    By signing up, you understand and agree that your data will be collected and used subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.