The Heart Chamber Orchestra

Aug 10, 2010

The excellent art and design blog, We Make Money Not Art, recently posted an article about The Heart Chamber Orchestra.  They are a collection of musicians and visual artists from Finland and Austria and they create music that responds to the orchestra's live heart beats.  The musicians wear ECG (electrocardiogram) sensors that are connected to a computer which augments the score as they perform. 

From the blog posting:
In this performance by Erich Berger and PURE from TERMINALBEACH, 12 classical musicians use their heartbeats to control in real time a computer composition and visualization environment.
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 role of the musician expands, he or she becomes an actor who simultaneously composes and interprets. The score is only temporary and generated in the very moment of the heartbeats.

A computer software analyzes the 12 hearts in real time and various algorithms turn the data into a 'living' musical score. While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. Musicians and electronic composition are linked via the hearts in a circular, feedback structure.

Check out the full post on We Make Money Not Art for more video, pictures, and info about their performances.

Tags: Heart Chamber Orchestra, ECG, biofeedback, generative music, Finland, Austria

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