Activating Memory is a live music performance for a brainwave quartet and a string quartet. Developed with composer Eduardo Miranda, I designed and built a brain-computer interface system to allow users with motor disabilities to control musical instruments, and to interact and communicate with each other through music.

In 2015 the piece was performed by the Paramusical Ensemble, comprised of four patients at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability London, as part of a collaborative project to bring this new method of music control to people with paralysis and locked-in syndrome. In 2017 I built a bespoke version of the system for a documentary aired on Sky Atlantic.

Watch an overview of Activating Memory and the Paramusical Ensemble:
Paramusical Ensemble from cinema iloobia on Vimeo.

The system that underpins Activating Memory has gone through a number of iterations since our initial idea in 2013, and the piece has been performed at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2014, Music Tech Fest London 2013, and at the Mainly Mozart music festival in San Diego, 2015.

The technology behind Activating Memory was featured by BBC News in 2014, and on BBC Click later that year.

Watch a feature on BBC Click:

Click – Composing with brainwaves from joel eaton on Vimeo.

The Paramusical Ensemble were featured in a number of news articles in 2016, particularly focusing on Rosemary Johnson. See, Daily Telegraph, BBC News.


  1. julie
    February 12, 2016

    Just seen that its amazing truly amazing

  2. Miranda Davis
    July 23, 2017

    I was the viola player in a string quartet with Rosemary Johnson at the Royal College of Music. I visited her many times after her accident but after I joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989 I became so busy, and, in the face of Rosie’s condition, so guilt ridden about having the luxury of being able to get on with my life and fulfil my musical potential I found it too painful to continue my visits. But what happened to her has always haunted me and yesterday I decided to see if there was any information about her online. Consequently I have just discovered all this information about Rosie and am deeply, deeply moved by what you have done for her. I would like to visit her again but I’m not sure how. I am still playing to a professional level and would like to offer my services free if you should ever need any extra musicians or help in any way. Please keep doing what you re doing.
    Kind regards,
    Miranda Davis


Leave a Reply