Whether it is the movements animating the stars and those of our dancing bodies, the scrolling of images on our screens or the one of the words we pronounce, the cellular renewal, the cycle of seasons, the speed of our neural connections or the cadence of the notes played by a symphony orchestra, rhythm is at the heart of our lives, our environment and our creations. This essential and yet still so mysterious notion never ceases to animate academics and artists, whether it holds a filigree place or a more prominent importance within their research.

With this same observation in mind, the five winners of the 2018 Killam Prize have dared to cross the boundaries of disciplinary fields by initiating an unprecedented cross-disciplinary reflection on rhythm in an attempt to bring together its different facets and to deploy all its richness. Vladimir Hachinski‘s study of the brain, André Gaudreault‘s study of the language of film, Walter Herzog‘s work on molecules and the body in human movement, James Pinfold‘s exploration of the unperceived melodies of the universe, and Janet Werker‘s study of the acquisition of language in newborns all share this fascinating common denominator.

Viewed organically, mechanically, artistically or technically, the understanding of rhythm generates a deep need and desire to unite horizons, as evidenced by all the researchers who attended the first two UdeM intersectoral meetings dedicated to this unifying, innovative and demanding theme.