ERC funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the DigiScore project, grant agreement No 101002086

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Second session

 It has been quite a long time since the first session. In the meantime, Elisabeth has had a baby and we have finally taken delivery of the Emotiv Insight brainwave readers and had a chance to experiment with them. Unfortunately, Anya was unwell and could not join in this session, but we have recorded everything for her.

It emerged rapidly that all of us have struggled with the headsets to some degree. The major problem is connectivity, which seems very difficult to achieve steadily. Since there are two types of connectivity, there also seems to be issues with one or other type at a given moment, which can be frustrating. Despite this, everybody had made at least some progress. Simon had been the most systematic and had experimented not just with sounds such as shaking a cereal packet, but also with taste (chillis and cherries). This synaesthetic approach seemed potentially quite productive. Meanwhile, Elisabeth and Andrew had made the cube move a little, but were both unsure about achieving consistent results. We shared ideas for approaches and agreed that we would persist. If it comes to the point that we have to abandon this technology, then we will do so and record a scientific negative result. But we are not yet at that stage. In the meantime, the creative process is forming in an interesting way, so the headsets are providing a valuable shared location for developing the digital score regardless of their success.

The approach Andrew has proposed is that each of us should assemble a catalogue of sounds that consistently produce a spike on one of the six performance metrics (focus, engagement, interest, excitement,. stress, relaxation) of the Emotiv BCI. Each of us should then have a catalogue of six sounds, making a total of 24 sounds as a basic library for composition. As the project develops, we may expand on these, but this is a basic set. We can then combine these sounds to create a shared focus, engagement, etc. That is a starting point for making the digital score, which could take any form that triggers approbate sounds and responses at appropriate times.

This way forwards seems promising and we agreed to meet in a couple of weeks to discuss progress. We also propose to extend the project to September 30th, if the scientists agree, to take account of the delays. We concluded with a fascinating discussion about knowing one's emotions, alexithymia, the greeting "how are you?" and other mysteries of neurotypical/neurodivegrent communication.

Final Session

The final session completed successfully with all the musicians agreeing that the results are fascinating and musically powerful. To summari...