History of Brainwave Music     Composition      Mapping      Real-Time Notation      Music Therapy    Emotional Control

One of the areas my research headed in is exploring brain wave control to generate real-time notation (a musical score that is written on-the fly). I wanted to integrate brainwaves with acoustic instruments to create a more tangible use of control, that would translate in a performance setting with an audience in a way that using brainwaves to manipulate electronic music doesn’t quite do as well.

Mind Trio

Notation System

Mind Trio – A Real Time Notation System

Mind Trio is a musical game whereby a BCMI user selects pathways of a score and these are presented on a display to a pianist. It’s a (relatively!) simple proof-of-concept system to explore the use of a dynamic digital score and a musician.

The system uses SSVEP for a user to select one of four pathways of a score. The system receives the selection and updates the pianist’s score, at the next update moment, to reflect this.

The system uses MaxScore, a notation extension for MAX/MSP.

For more information see the paper on Mind Trio.

Mind Quartet

For the 2014 Peninsula Arts Festival I produced a piece using real-time notation and a string quartet, with Professor Eduardo Miranda.

The performance incorporates 4 musicians each with a BCMI user controlling the corresponding notation for each musician. This piece evolved into what became Activating Memory, which was developed with patients from the Royal Hospital of Neurodisability, London, and performed in various locations worldwide.

For Activating Memory, I moved on from MaxScore and developed my own bespoke system for G.Tec EEG wireless electrodes. I built it using Arduino hardware for the flashing SSVEP stimuli and displaying score excerpts programmed using the Pure Data software environment which displayed a synchronised score on external monitors to musicians. Each brainwave performer had a G.Tec EEG wireless electrode system sending brainwaves to a laptop. The brainwaves were processed in Matlab and then sent to Pure Data over OSC. Pure Data handled the score selection computation as well as the output display for the musicians (including score and visual metronome. All the laptops were synchronised over a network, controlled by a master Pure Data program, that allowed all the musicians to play in time, and the BCMI performers to make selections during specific periods of time.

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