So, my performance piece with Prof. Eduardo Miranda finally premiered last weekend at the Peninsula Arts Festival in Plymouth. Sitting at the back of the stage and watching four people control a string quartet with their brainwaves was a pretty special feeling. Thankfully, all the technology worked seamlessly with all the users fully able to control the score.

Just to recap, I built a system where a string quartet performed a score that was generated in real-time by a brain quartet. The brain quartet were selecting musical phrases using a visual interface that generated specific brain activity that the system read. In short the brain waves of the brain quartet had complete control over the music the musicians were playing. It looked and sounded a little like this rehearsal:

Activating Memory Performance stage view

Also over the weekend a BBC feature on the technology was aired on Click, a technology show. A news story and Radio feature also went out on Radio 4’s PM and the World Service, awesome stuff.

Click – Composing with brainwaves from joel eaton on Vimeo.

Any interested parties can take a peek into the system design through the following diagram. This illustrates the inner workings for one of the four brain-quartet systems.


We also hope to do some pretty cool stuff in the future with this system (there is a short documentary also coming about how Activating Memory works), but for now I’m just starting work on a new research project into predicting thought patterns in brainwaves.  Watch this space. J

Activating memory brain control black and white