of light and shadows
Portrait Photography
From the first photographic portraits captured in the 1830s to the “selfies” of today, we seem fascinated by images of the human face. Mike Williams asks if it is simple vanity or something deeper; perhaps an attempt to learn how other people see us or a desire to capture something of ourselves that may live on when we are gone.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02g0cmg

Singing
It’s something that all individuals and societies have done for millions of years. But why do we sing? Today singing is a way of bringing people together, expressing joy, sadness and almost every emotion. Is there an evolutionary reason why and how humans developed the complex vocal structures involved in singing?
Mike Williams talks to biologists, voice coaches and vocalists to find out.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01727f0

Tattoos
In this programme, Mike Williams asks why people have tattoos. Where do they come from and what do they say about us? From the Maori of New Zealand to the Mexican Mafia, Mike explores the universal motivation behind why people decorate their bodies with ink.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01c0qnz

Dance
Dance exists in every culture. It’s thought that humans were dancing before we learned to speak.
But why do we have this desire to move, and what are we trying to communicate? Mike Williams explores the idea of ‘muscular bonding’ – that moving together creates communities. He hears how Indian Kathak dance connects body and soul, how a Northern Australian society uses dance to blur gender divides, and how watching others dance makes us move too.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01v2hm6

Sticky Songs
What makes snippets of popular songs go round and round in our heads? Which songs are likely to be earworms or 'sticky songs' and what sort of person is most susceptible to them? If an earworm is driving you mad, how do you get rid of it? And what might the wider mental health benefits be of understanding where the mind goes when we let it off the leash?
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ycqg1

Sad Music
Helena Merriman asks why people listen to sad music. A recent study has shown that sad music has become increasingly popular, but why do people choose to listen to it, and what goes on in the brain and the body when they do so?
Helena speaks to Japanese pianist and music researcher Dr Ai Kawakami who has some surprising answers about some of the positive feelings people experience when they listen to sad music. American writer Amanda Stern tells Helena why she regularly listens (and cries) to sad music and British composer Debbie Wiseman, known for her moving TV and film scores, explains what makes a piece of music sound sad.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01gmhx6

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