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    Yeah, it's a real thing, more specifically the article How Pat Metheny came to Carolina in Mpumalanga, South Africa: using music in transdisciplinary water research as found in the The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa.

    Abstract:

    Listening to music can help researchers to comprehend and gain insight into complex problems in transdisciplinary research. This article explains how members of a research group at North-West University in South Africa conducted research on a crisis in the urban settlement of Carolina in Mpumalanga Province when acid mine drainage (AMD) from local coal mining operations was found in the municipal water supply.

    In grappling with complex issues such as the failure of communication with local stakeholders, the group resorted to using the music of Pat Metheny’s music to come to a better understanding of the crisis.
    Read it if you dare. It's long, but worth skimming at least for the discussion on the devastating consequences of acid mine drainage and water scarcity for tens of thousands of people living in abject poverty in South Africa. Later in the article the author writes about Pat Metheny's version of Sound Of Silence from What's It All About (there's even a photo in the article of Metheny playing the Pikasso), the importance of the tune during the 60s, and the decision to use the tune for "the Carolina project". The article closes with this priceless gem:

    And so the use of Pat Metheny’s music in our research process became an instrumental poem that mimed the circumstances of real-time drama for the ordinary resident in Carolina. In hundreds of families, almost in silence to the world outside their frontdoor, ordinary people experienced the hardship of not having access to proper drinking water. This mimetic role of the music performed an agency function for a form of hermeneutics that initially (but in a one-dimensional context) facilitated the interpretation of human actors and the consequences of their non-communication in the network. However, as we delved deeper into the contemporary natural history of the area, an important actor became the aquatic system. We were able to comprehend the profoundly silent but marked effect it had not only on the human network of participants, but even the non-human network of purification and sanitation works, the pumps, the pipelines, reservoirs and even the ordinary taps that people used to secure life-sustaining water.

    (Do I win thread title of the day?)

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  3. #2

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    And so the use of Pat Metheny’s music in our research process became an instrumental poem that mimed the circumstances of real-time drama for the ordinary resident in Carolina. In hundreds of families, almost in silence to the world outside their frontdoor, ordinary people experienced the hardship of not having access to proper drinking water. This mimetic role of the music performed an agency function for a form of hermeneutics that initially (but in a one-dimensional context) facilitated the interpretation of human actors and the consequences of their non-communication in the network. However, as we delved deeper into the contemporary natural history of the area, an important actor became the aquatic system. We were able to comprehend the profoundly silent but marked effect it had not only on the human network of participants, but even the non-human network of purification and sanitation works, the pumps, the pipelines, reservoirs and even the ordinary taps that people used to secure life-sustaining water.

    I don't like mimes as a rule, and the only Herman I have any knowledge of or care anything about is Herman Munster.

    Also, if you're going to use the word "hermaneutics" in an article, I ain't going to read it. Life's short, ya know.

    More seriously, that is a serious topic. It is horrible the way water is mismanaged for 80% of the world's population. I am glad that Pat was of some assistance in this work.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

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    Herman Eutics. Bass player in the late 30s, right?
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke