Making Music With Brain Waves And Heartbeats

Your brain and body is a musical instrument. Equipped with both the skills of a computer engineer and the artistry of an accomplished musician, Grace Leslie is developing new technologies that use her own brain and body to compose music. The sonic experiences and lessons she is creating are part of a growing body of research conducted in the Brain Music Lab at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology. She and a team of researchers explore the ways that biorhythms can be translated into music, or in reverse, how music can create physiological effects in listeners.

Leslie collects heartbeats, neuroelectric activity, and other biofeedback with sensors on the body and feeds them into a computer, which then converts them into flowing waves of sound. Just like a musician might tune a guitar or a piano, Leslie must carefully adjust her emotional and physical state to create the right tones during performances. By taking cues from the human body, Leslie and her students aim to create new forms of music and sounds that can act as sonic therapies for listeners.

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Co-Produced by Jason Drakeford and Luke Groskin
Filmed, Edited, and Animated by Jason Drakeford
Music by Grace Leslie and Audio Network
Additional Footage Provided by Grace Leslie, Redstar Video, and Alexander Sigman

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About Luke Groskin

Luke Groskin is Science Friday’s video producer. He’s on a mission to make you love spiders and other odd creatures.

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