The Sci Foo Files 2010 – Part 2: Stephon Alexander

When I hosted the scientists/musicians session at Sci Foo 2010, I had left a recorder running. Unfortunately, it ran out of batteries halfway through, and after recovering the files, I noticed it was missing a large chunk of Stephon Alexander’s fabulous talk about a three dimensional circle of fifths. (No, it’s not a circle if it’s three dimensional, but that’s the best way I can describe it.) Luckily, he was full of amazing stories, and a great speaker, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy these two other audio fragments.

Stephon Alexander is an Associate Professor of Physics at Haverford College. He’s also a saxophone player, and he could very easily have made a career out of music. So why didn’t he? In this first audio fragment he tells the story of growing up in the Bronx and having his music career all laid out for him.

This second audio fragment ends close to where the recording stopped, and I don’t remember how it ended, but it’s the highly entertaining story of how Stephon found an interesting diagram that John Coltrane gave to Yusuf Lateef, and later, on a whim, called Yusuf Lateef out of the blue…

See also: The Sci Foo Files 2010 – Part 1: Hari Manoharan



Eva Amsen is a writer, science communicator and blogger, interested in the overlap between science and music, art, pop culture, and daily life. Portfolio | Twitter | Contact

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