The Sound of Emotions

Collaborators Vaughan Macefield (an Australian neuroscientist) and Canadian arist Erin Gee are working on a venture that turns electrical signals from the brain into music. While the use of biosignals and biosonification in the creation of musical performance is hardly new, this is the first work I’ve come across that uses direct recordings of nerve activity in this way. The ‘data capture’ process sounds a little more invasive and unpleasant than that used in other performances I’ve seen. Macefield’s research team:

“injects a very fine microelectrode needle into a peripheral nerve in the body that allows researchers to record electrical signals emitted from the brain. Blood flow, heart rate, sweat release and respiration levels are also recorded.”

The data is then processed and converted into a range of bell-like sounds. Gee writes of the project:

“It takes these tiny bodily physical performances that happen when one is emotional and transfers these tiny beating hearts and fluctuations in breathing and nerve activity — and amplifies it through technology.”

I first read about this in Macleans On Campus. I’d like to read something a bit more technical/detailed though, so I’m going to have a root around on the ‘net. I’ll report back later.

[Event] Soundwave ((5)) Humanities

San Francisco
5th July 2012 – 30 September 2012

 

Soundwave 5 poster

“MEDIATE Art Group is excited to announce the return of Soundwave this summer for its fifth season, entitled HUMANITIES, exploring our sonic connections to the human experience. Arguably the largest celebration of avant-art, sound and music in the Bay Area, Soundwave ((5)) HUMANITES will feature over 90 participating artists and musicians, in over 35 inspired performances, concerts, exhibits and conference panels & presentations over the span of 3 entire months.

‘These innovative artists and musicians will uncover the future of humanity from bionic brainwave instrumentations, subconscious realities, technohuman immersions, Zen-inspired performances, hybrid mythologies, new dimensions, and other artist imaginations,’ says Alan So, Soundwave Festival & Artistic Director. “

Bodies|Sounds|Technologies readers might be interested in checking out The Human Bionic at The Lab on 14th July:

The Human Bionic features innovative instrumentation using the human body that questions the boundaries between the biological and technological. Artists Cantrell, Kuhne and Stuck imagine the hybridization of humans and technology with interactive performances utilizing brainwaves, muscles, sensors and human processing to create and conduct sound. Cantrell creates ‘Sounding Body’ an audience-interactive performance event that uses brainwaves to reveal how our thoughts can take various sonic forms. Multi-media artist Kuhne conjures ‘Rebound’ using videos and sensors to activate sound and image. Stuck presents ‘Pressed’ positioning the dancer’s real body between a symbolic language that directs movement and the video record of past movement. The Human Bionic explores our physical connection to technology while raising questions as to what is at stake, and what can be lost, by organic bodies and their interrelationships as technological implements become increasingly ubiquitous and essential in our current society.

The Future Bionic looks pretty good, too; Jay Kreimer’s ‘Born Wireless’ sounds particularly fascinating and I hope to write a blog post about it soon (a naive proposition, perhaps, given that I am stuck in the UK and won’t be able to see it ‘in the flesh’). Other exciting offerings include:  The New Humanity Conference: Technohumanity at Intersection for the Arts and The Meta Bionic at The Lab (featuring work by  M+V (aka Tavis Johns & Paulina Velázquez), Guillermo Galindo, and NASSA ). For more info, check out the Soundwave ((5)) website.

[Event] noise=noise: the body is integrated

[Stolen from SANlist]

leaky dielectrics, bio feedback

THE BODY IS INTEGRATED

live performances from…

UNIFORM

RYAN JORDAN

MELANIE CLIFFORD

LUCY THANE

ANITA KONARSKA

ZON ON N

11.11.11 8pm-late leaky bar £5

Unit 61 Regent Studios 8 Andrews Road Hackney E8 4QN
London, UK

 

More details available from the noise=noise / nnnnn website.

[cfp] eContact!: Biotechnological Performance Practice

eContact! extends an open call for contributions to an issue focussing on the use of the body in electroacoustic performance practice, coordinated by Guest Editor Marco Donnarumma. Performers, composers and others are encouraged to contribute their perspectives on the role or position of the body in experimental practices of musical performance.

Submission deadline: 31 January 2012
Publication: 29 February 2012
Submission Guidelines can be found here.

Suggestions for contributions include, but are not limited to the following ideas:

  • Use of Mechanical Myography (MMG), Electromyography (EMG) and other similar biological signal measurements in performance
  • Scoring / notation of body-related performance
  • Sound Art dealing with the body and biological aspects of performance
  • Development of DIY, biological-based, Interactive Musical Systems (IMS)
  • The definition / augmentation of Self on stage by means of biotechnologies
  • Cognitive aspects of embodied interaction between the biological body and computer
  • Composer—Technology—Performer: definition of roles?
  • Live electronics vs. fixed media in biotechnological performance practice
  • Historical overviews and reflections
  • Critical perspectives on gesture-based “human-computer interaction”
  • The sound of flesh…

We also welcome other contributions that engage in a discourse on the relation between biophysics and music. Feel free to propose other ideas!

To state your interest in contributing or for further information, contact Guest Editor Marco Donnarumma.

New and/or unpublished materials are preferred but reprints of previously published materials are also possible (eContact! will credit and link to original publications). The author is responsible for securing all permissions and clearing any copyrights related to the submission.

The inclusion of audio and video support documentation, photos, technical diagrammes and sketches is strongly encouraged. Audio and video examples should be submitted in the highest quality possible.

 

 

Douglas Kahn @ STEIM

[Stolen from the STEIM mailing list]

‘Douglas Kahn: Listening Session

1966: Natural Electromagnetic Sounds, From Brainwaves to Outer Space

Date: Monday, October 10
Venue: STEIM, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam
Time: 20.30 hrs.
Charge: 5 euros

 A special evening at STEIM, organised by Sonic Acts, DNK and STEIM on Monday 10 October 2011 at 20:30 hrs, following Douglas Kahn’s lecture at Stedelijk Museum on Sunday 9 October.

Douglas Kahn, author of the acclaimed Noise, Water, Meat, a History of Sound in the Arts, and co-editor of the brand new Source, Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973, guides us through the fascinating history of art which uses natural radio, electromagnetic sound and brainwaves. It’s a listening session, so it includes many audio recordings and video material, some of it very rare.

In a 1966 preparatory note for Variations VII, John Cage wrote to David Tudor that they should include sounds of brainwaves and a radio astronomy telescope, and that they “give credit to Lucier for brain and outer space.” Alvin Lucier had already performed his “brainwave piece”, Music for Solo Performer (1965) and Whistlers (1966), based on natural ionospheric and magnetospheric radio. For Lucier, both compositions used forms of “natural electromagnetic sound” and, in combination, they described a new type of spatial environment. Also, in 1966 the Swedish composer Karl-Birger Blomdahl created Altisonans, a nationally broadcasted television composition relating natural radio and satellite telemetry sounds to those of birds. These activities involved physicists, Rudy Kompfner, Billy Klüver, Edmond Dewan, Millett Morgan, and Ludwik Liszka to varying degrees, from non-cooperation to close collaboration. This session will include ! these audio and visual compositions, as well as background recordings from the period, some of them very rare.

Douglas Kahn is a Research Professor at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), College of Fine Arts, at University of New South Wales, in Sydney. He is a historian and theoretician of the media arts and music, with a focus on sound, electromagnetism, and natural media. His books include Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999), the newly published Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973, a rich documentary source of experimental music, edited with Larry Austin, and the forthcoming Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts, edited with Hannah Higgins. His major project, Earth Sound Earth Signal, is the product of a decade of research into natural electromagnetic and acoustical phenomena occurring at a geophysical scale in the arts, media, science and military from the late 19th century to the present, and includes an attempt to theorize media in terms of nature.’

[EVENT] noise=noise

[stolen from SANLIST]
 
noise=noise “Bio signal noise, music for flesh, psychosis attacks, the body is integrated”.
 
Featuring performances by:

Atau Tanaka“Concrete Corps is a musical concert performance for performer and bio-electrical interface as musical instrument. The instrument in question is the BioMuse, a sensor interface captures electromyogram (EMG) biosignals reflecting muscle tension. Biomedical electrodes make electrical contact with the skin, detecting electrical impulses of neurons as the brain commands voluntary muscle contraction.”

Marinos Koutsomichalis“Sygxysis – a disturbance of psychological or mental health, psychological unrest, unrestful vexation) is a study in complexity using recursive stochastic noise generators. Sygxysis attacks the audience with intense spectra to enact situations of discomfort and psychological unrest, setting this way both body and consciousness into a constant state of alert and resulting in a profound awareness shift.

Ryan Jordan“The audio static buzz and noise is momentarily hijacked as stray pirate radio frequencies are channelled and received through human flesh and bone.”

Marco Donnarumma“Music for Flesh II is a seamless mediation between human biophysical potential and algorithmic composition. By enabling a computer to sense and interact with the muscular potential of human tissues, the work approaches the biological body as a means for computational artistry.”

Monday August 15th
8-11pm
£5 suggested donation
rough bar

nnnnn Unit 73a, Regent Studios, 8 Andrew’s Road, E8 4QN
(get in the lift and go to the 7th floor, turn right and its the second unit)