How to compose classical music with brain waves
LJ Rich, a BBC reporter, said that during her classical music studies, she spent most of her time looking at an empty sheet of paper and wishing for some kind of shortcut that would allow her to "think" about the music and have it appear directly over it. the page. Today, he composes on a computer, replacing pencils with pixels, but he has always hoped that one day he could record his musical thoughts directly from his brain.
Now, staring at a laptop screen at the University of Plymouth, he has tested a system that promises to make his musical dream come true.
The project is an original idea of the Professor Eduardo Miranda, a composer who has made his fascination with what he calls music neurotechnology A lifestyle. His device reads thoughts, with the help of a helmet, and promises to translate those thoughts into music; a world far from the traditional songwriting process.
The teacher plans to use this system to take readings from four people and then monitor a string quartet with the results.
This is the basis for his latest composition, entitled "Activating Memory". The play was performed at the “2014 Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival” in Plymouth.
The researcher and engineer Joel eaton He helped her put on the helmet, with the wires and metal electrodes sticking out of it. Joel told him that the main electrode at the back of the helmet would pick up the brain waves from his visual cortex, while the other electrodes would basically help to rule out any kind of background noise. To use the device, the user must focus on one of four checker patterns. They all blink at a different rate and each pattern causes the visual part of the brain to create a sympathetic electrical signal. The helmet picks up the signal and sends it to a computer. The device works best when the rest of the brain is relaxed, so the user is advised to "go blank". Electrical signals from the brain are amplified and then sent to a laptop.
Done right, the chosen pattern sends a musical phrase to the screen. A musician could then play the generated music. According to Rich, it was difficult at first. She believes that the system is still far from being as user-friendly as she had hoped. However, for people with mobility disorders, this interface offers some obvious benefits, even at this early stage.
The laboratory of the Indisciplinary Center for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) has already done some research with a person who suffers from locked-in syndrome and the results have been encouraging.
Biocomputer Music from Eduardo Miranda on Vimeo.