Ben Warfield

Producer: Michael O’Reilly
What do NASA, bees, circadian rhythms, beeswax candles, ambient music, the Pine Barrens and timelapse from space all have in common? They are all within the “orbit” of Benjamin Warfield.

Who is he? Ben is a sound artist and researcher – creating and performing music for films, installations and new media while contributing to the scientific research and operations of an academic neuroscience laboratory engaged in the study of the biological effects of light on humans (The Light Research Program at Thomas Jefferson University). In this center city Philadelphia lab, they essentially discovered a new photo-receptor in the eye. This novel class of photoreceptors is responsible for the neurobehavioral effects of light in humans, specifically, the blue wavelength often emitted by smart phones and other electronic devices with screens. Through this work at the lab, Warfield has developed a practice that merges his music with the power of candlelight, educating consumers on the healthy aspects of the warm golden light produced by beeswax candles. We visit the bees that produce the type of wax from which Mithras Candles are made, we visit the ISS and see how the work of the lab has impacted the living conditions therein. Mostly, we visit with Ben in the lab, in the Pine Barrens and on stage, making music that weaves together these disparate pursuits.

 

Modern Day Renaissance Man
Producer: Michael O’Reilly
Editor: Cody Knoblauch

Benjamin Warfield is a NASA researcher, a musician and a candlemaker; you could call him a modern-day Renaissance man. His candlemaking is very unique as he uses beeswax specifically for his candles.

 

The Light Research Program Laboratory
Producer: Michael O’Reilly
Editor: Emily Harasta

The Light Research Program Laboratory at Jefferson University has been working with NASA since the early 2000’s. Dr. George Brainard discusses their work in aiding astronauts fighting sleep deprivation in space, as well as the effects of light on the human brain. In the future, these studies may even help the sleep-deprived here on Earth.

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