News, performances, lectures, and systems…
I’m definitely long overdue a blog entry, so here’s some highlights of things I’ve been up to over the last few months. This is really 6 small blog entries all rolled into one, so it kind of makes up for the tumbleweed that’s been blowing around on here.
Sex Swing – Album production
Sex Swing are a pretty cool psychedelic noise band based in London, featuring members of Mugstar, Dethscalator and Part Chimp. I recorded their debut album at Dropout Studios in Oval last Summer, mixed it on headphones by the side of a pool in San Diego, and mastered it in my spare room. It’s due to be released in late 2016 as one of the first releases for the Quietus Phonographic Corporation (run by the Quietus magazine), and when it is I’ll post some snippets.
Guest lecture at Anglia Ruskin University
I was invited to give a talk in early February for the Music and Performing Arts department’s research seminar series, on my research in brainwaves and music. I had some really interesting discussions with people afterwards, and it was great to share some of the ideas and work from my doctoral studies.
Performance of A Stark Mind at the Peninsula Arts Festival 2016
The cold mid-winter marks the annual arrival of the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Devon. This year I was invited to perform my piece A Stark Mind, using brainwave control to arrange a graphical score for musicians to follow. Playing with me were Esther Coovertis on Viola and Pierre Largeron on Violin. The brain-computer music interface I performed with was a culmination of my Phd research, featuring a hardware brainwave stimuli and feedback device I built myself.
Interactive AV installation for children using Electromyography (EMG)
As part of my work for ARM I developed an interactive demo for controlling music and visual patterns. Aimed at children and young people between the ages of 7 and 19 the demo was used as part of ARMs stand at the Big Bang Fair, an event to promote STEM subjects to students with over 70,000 attendees. The demo uses the Myo controller, an armband that records muscle tension and can detect hand gestures and arm movement. These are then mapped to electronic music and visual controls creating a combined DJ/VJ interface for kids. I was interviewed about the system by the Institute of Engineering and Technology TV channel. Depending on how well that comes out I may or may not post the link on here in the future!
My work with brainwaves and music is reported in the national press
Following on from previous press coverage about the brain-music systems I have developed, in February the Daily Telegraph ran a story about one of the members of the Paramusical Ensemble, Rosie. The story focused on her early life as a violin player, before she was paralysed. Using the system I built, Rosie was able to control a violin again, this time using only her brain waves.
Following on from the Telegraph article, the story about Rosie and the Paramusical Ensemble was reported widely in the press, especially online. It featured in the Metro, the Daily Mail, there was a feature on BBC Breakfast and the BBC news website.
Public lecture for the British Science Association
On the 12th April, I’ll be giving a public lecture for the British Science Association in Cambridge, on the theme of ‘Technology Meets Medicine’. More details can be found here.