Aug 26, 2010
Heart Chamber Orchestra
The Heart Chamber Orchestra consists of classical musicians who use their heartbeats to control a computer composition and visualization environment. To my best knowledge, this is the first example of "group biofeedback".
The musicians are equipped with ECG (electrocardiogram) sensors. A computer monitors and analyzes the state of these 12 hearts in real time. The acquired information is used to compose a musical score with the aid of computer software. It is a living score dependent on the state of the hearts.
While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. The musicians and the electronic composition are linked via the hearts in a circular motion, a feedback structure. The emerging music evolves entirely during the performance.
The resulting music is the expression of this process and of an organism forming itself from the circular interplay of the individual musicians and the machine.
The sensor network consists of 12 individual sensors; each one is fitted onto the body of a musician. A computer receives the heartbeat data. Software analyzes the data and generates via different algorithms the real-time musical score for the musicians, the electronic sounds and the computer graphic visualization
Below is a video documentation from the Heart Chamber Orchestra performance on the 28th of March 2010 at Kiasma Theatre at Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, Finland.