Fans of former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart will have a chance to literally see what is on his mind when he brings his band to Bethlehem later this month.
During his Sept. 26 performance at Musikfest Cafe, Hart will wear a unique, specially-designed cap fitted with electrodes that, according to a recent Associated Press article, capture his brain activity and direct the movements of a light show while he is rocking out on stage.
"Vibration is everything, rhythm, music is vibration therefore there must be some sort of connection between vibrations and health and life and syncing," Hart says in a phone interview. "Now we're able to see inside the brain for the first time; what it looks like in real time. What you see on the screen is my brain."
The headgear, which is covered with sensors, was the result of a collaboration between Hart and Adam Gazzaley, a University of California neuroscientist, according to the AP.
Hart used the device for the recording of his latest album, "Superorganism."
"Brainwaves were used as a stimulus for the music," Hart says of making the album. "It is taking it from one form to another."
Hart calls himself a "rhythmist." He says the human experience and electrical-based rhythms -- DNA, brainwaves and stem cells -- are all interwoven through rhythm and that modern science is only now starting to catch up and discover it.
"There is a subatomic level going on in the universe that is pulsing," Hart says.
"Other scientists have now caught up being able to measure micro and macro rhythms that are all around us and through us."
Though Hart continues to be fascinated with the scientific concepts of rhythm and drumming, he says the current show is still about music and not calculations.
"There is fun dancing to it," Hart says. "This is simply not a science experiment. We're a cold-blooded dance band. There are no bleeps and pops and stuff. It's a rhythm machine."
Hart says the universe is really an instrument to which are all tuned.
"That's why every culture has music," he says. "Music is a talking book. These are the things I'll be bringing to the music."
Hart says he continues to learn new things as a drummer every day.
"There is a very creative curve in my world," he says.
Asked what knowledge he passes on to those perching themselves behind the kit for the first time, Hart raises his voice and shouts, "It's the rhythms, stupid."
"If it grabs you and that's all you can think about, then do it as a lifestyle," he continues. "But if it doesn't, don't bother. Do something else and do the drumming, the music, as a recreational thing. It has to grab your consciousness and grab your soul and your will."
"When you hit a drum it has to be so good, so much pleasure, that it makes you feel good and you'll want to follow those rhythms for the rest of your life."
The Mickey Hart Band will perform 8 p.m. Sept. 26 at Musikfest Cafe, inside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.
Tickets cost $34-$49.
For more information, call 610-332-3378 or visit artsquest.org.
-By Dustin Schoof