Neuromusic IV

Sound Art Forum
curator: Daniel Brożek


The score for the piece consists of a text to be read by the listener-performer. The emotional and intellectual processes occurring in the reader’s mind are measured, analysed and interpreted on the basis of the brain’s electrical activity (eeg). The installation translates these measurements into music. Any change of tempo, rhythm, instrumentation, echo and other musical elements results directly from the brain waves of the user of the installation. Thus by listening to the sonic representation of brain activity, this person influences the final shape of the created piece. The music reacts to the level of relaxation or concentration of the user, so by controlling the development of the piece, we are actually controlling ourselves, moving into a state of greater attention or relaxation. Some musical structures are direct sonification of the current amplitudes of brain waves, making it possible for the visitors to listen to the rhythms in which their brain cells generate electrical impulses.

The work is based on the reversal of the classic cognitive model of music, in which the audible sound structures trigger certain emotional or intellectual states. In Neuromusic, the listener must perform a certain thought process in order to be able to hear a composition whose concept is based on feedback between the processes of composing, interpreting and listening. Thus the user can actively participate in actions which in the traditional music system are separate and subject to numerous limitations and conventions. The work poses questions about the essence of the sound experience, which becomes an active process of creation.


photo: Małgorzata Kujda