The photo of the week series is a weekly series featuring photos taken by our academics and students for our Research Photography Competition, which provides a snapshot of some of the incredible research undertaken across the BU community.
This week’s photo of the week is by Madison Miller, a student from the Faculty of Media and Communications.
Binaural beats aren’t a subject well known, though they are commonly used in different forms of meditation music. The word ‘beat’ may help tip you off that binaural beats are involved with music, but their unpleasant sound would say otherwise. Because of this divide, my research goes to explore exactly what binaural beats are through a philosophical point of view. Here, my research compares and unifies the scientific (or functional) and spiritual (or aesthetic) elements of binaural beats to conclude: binaural beats are a form of art. This form of art rests as music, since binaural beats allow for an aesthetic response from the listener, even if it’s a negative response.
In order to communicate these findings, I paired binaural beat instrumentation to nature photography (as nature is often used for visualisation meditation and even added to meditation music). The goal of pairing the nature photography to the binaural beats was to show that music (non-visual art) provides aesthetic responses much like photography (visual art). Likewise, though binaural beats are awful to listen to on their own, when paired with other instruments, or overlaid with other sounds, the aesthetic response can change, much like individual perceptions of interpreting photography.