Xth Sense, Biophysical Music
Instructor: Marco Donnarumma
Hands-on training in augmentation of the body for musical performance, using DIY, low cost biosensing wearable device for muscle sounds.
See an Xth Sense performance
Development blog can be viewed at XS Blog
The workshop offers an hands-on experience and both theoretical and practical training in gestural control of music and bodily musical performance, deploying the brand-new biosensing technology Xth Sense.
Developed by the workshop teacher Marco Donnarumma within a research project at The University of Edinburgh, Xth Sense is a framework for the application of muscle sounds to the biophysical generation and control of music.
It consists of a low cost, DIY biosensing wearable device and an Open Source based software for capture, analysis and audio processing of biological sounds of the body (Pure Data-based).
Muscle sounds are captured in real time and used both as sonic source material and control values for sound effects, enabling the performer to control music simply with his body and kinetic energy.
Forget your mice, MIDI controllers, you will not even need to look at your laptop anymore.
The Xth Sense biosensor was designed to be easily implemented by anyone, no previous experience in electronics is required. The applications of the Xth Sense technology are manifold: from complex gestural control of samples and audio synthesis, through biophysical generation of music and sounds, to kinetic control of real time digital processing of traditional musical instruments, and more.
Firstly, participants will be introduced to the Xth Sense Technology by its author. They will be provided with functional devices ready to be used.
Next, they will become proficient with the Xth Sense software framework: all the features of the framework will be unleashed through practical exercises.
Theoretical background on the state of art of gestural control of music and new musical instruments will be developed by means of an audiovisual review and participatory critical analysis of relevant projects selected by the instructor.
Eventually, participants will combine hardware and software to implement a solo or group performance to be presented during the closing event.
At the end of the workshop, participants will be free to keep the Xth Sense biosensors they built and the related software for their own use.
The workshop is open to anyone passionate about sound and music. Musical background and education does not matter as long as you are ready to challenge your usual perspective on musical performance.
Composers, producers, sound designers, musicians, field recordists are all welcome to join our team for an innovative and highly creative experience.
Participants need to provide their own headphones, external soundcards and laptops with Pd-extended already installed. We will work either on Linux or Mac OSX > 10.6 operating systems. If you don't have access to none of them, please download a live distribution of Pure:Dyne
Musicians interested in augmenting their favourite musical instrument by means of body gestures are encouraged to bring their instrument along. No previous experience in electronics or programming is required, however participants should be familiar with digital music creation.
4th international Pure Data Convention 2011 Weimar ~ Berlin