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Whiplash (15) + presentation by Professor Elaine Chew

Science on Screen

Shot of drummer and man yelling

A promising young drummer enrols at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing in pursuit of perfection.

At an elite New York music conservatory, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons, in his Oscar®-winning role), an instructor known for his terrifying teaching methods, discovers Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer, and transfers him into the top jazz ensemble. As Andrew's passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, his ruthless teacher pushes him to the brink of his ability and his sanity.

Rhythm pervades our everyday experience, from the beating of the heart to the cadence of human speech, from synapses firing in the brain to natural sleep-wake cycles. Through music making, we play with rhythms, shaping and transforming them. Professor Elaine Chew will discuss how we use computers to understand how musicians mark and shape time, and how these methods allow us to study rhythms in abnormal heartbeats.

US 2015 Dir Damien Chazelle 106 min

Presented in partnership with the London Mathematical Laboratory


About the speaker

Professor Elaine Chew is Professor of Digital Media in the Centre for Digital Music at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London. An operations researcher and concert pianist by training, Elaine's research applies mathematical and computational techniques to understand musical structures. Her recent work focuses on musical structures as they are created in performance and in cardiac arrhythmias.

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A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

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