Brain Decomposition | Concert Piece 1 w/ Titus von der Malsburg
36-channel-piece for sounddome (2014) 17:00 min
Produced in ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics
& produced in Studio für Elektronische Musik der TU Berlin, Fachgebiet Audiokommunikation
Excerpt of live-recording, concert in ZKM Kubus 2014-12-13
Recording by ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics. Credits to the IMA!
Excerpt of OKM recording in Kubus of ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics
"Brain Decomposition" conveys the spatial nature of brain waves. By using multi-channel playback the presented work intends to make the space of the skull audible. Our recordings originate from a linguistic experiment, in which 30 electrodes attached to the skull served as sound sources. Our brains and our thoughts never rest, brain potentials flow in different states, waveforms, intensities and rhythms. But the electricity generated by our thinking is quiet and gentle, in the range of millivolts (and much quieter than all ambient noises of the body).
Audifications of electric brain potentials are complicated because each scalp electrode records a mixture of signals from all neural generators plus muscle artefacts resulting in an opaque and noisy rendition. To handle this problem we apply an "independent component analysis", a recently developed computational technique to separate source signals from the recorded mixtures. These sources are then edited individually. The result is a clearer and more transparent audification of the electric brain activity. The tape piece with up to 36 channels enables the perception of the movement and complexity of the source signals via its spatial distribution. Speakers arranged as a kind of cranial dome reflect the inside of the calvaria, the recordings of the electrodes of the skull. The speakers output the different parts, of which the electric brain signal is composed.
The work is the result of the collaboration of Christoph Illing and neuroscientist Titus von der Malsburg. It was produced at the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics and in Studio für Elektronische Musik der TU Berlin, Fachgebiet Audiokommunikation.
Zirkonium MK 2 Software by ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics