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Unraveling Boléro



Maurice Ravel was a French composer who lived at the turn of the turn of the nineteenth century. He is well remembered for composing several ballets as well as concert works. His final work was Boléro. At the end of his life, he developed a dementia-like illness and eventually died from it.

Fast-forward about 80 years and then there is Anne Adams. Originally a biologist, Adams suddenly decides to be an artist and quickly becomes obsessed with Ravel's last work, Boléro. She attempts to paint the song in a work titled 'Unraveling Boléro.' Then she develops a dementia-like illness and dies. Coincidence? Radiolab thinks not. They took on the story and discovered there is a possibility that this song links Adams and Ravel and could, oddly, be an early indicator of the disease.

Joseph-Maurice Ravel
  • Joseph-Maurice Ravel

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