The brain is probably one of the most complex things we know of in the biological world. We are still learning amazing new things about it everyday, and we have barely even begun to scratch the surface. Think of the brain as a massive super computer. The trillions of calculations it has to make every second is absolutely mind boggling. What’s worse is that the brain is also very mischievous. For example, you might have a certain sound or song in your head, but no one can hear it. Even if you were able to compose it into music, it may still never be exactly what you heard in your head. Not to worry, because we may be seeing the beginning of some seriously cool technology that can actually take the music out of your head and translate it into something we can share with everyone!
Lithuanian sound artist Aiste Noreikaite has created what she calls the Experience Helmet. Basically this Space Balls-esque helmet is nothing more than an EEG (electroencephalogram) machine built into a motorcycle helmet. EEGs operate by detecting abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain. This procedure tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results. The one designed into to the helmet is much more compact (but still amazing) and senses the activity of neurons in the brain to tell whether the brain is in a meditative state or an attentive state.
While you have the helmet on, it will register on a scale of 1-100 what kind of state you neurons are in; meditative or attentive. Each number was then assigned a frequency, such that a higher sound indicates a more calm and relaxed state, and a faster, more rhythmical sound indicates more activity and awareness.
“The neurons in the brain communicate through electricity, so I thought that electronic tones would be perfect for that, I just wanted to make it as simple as possible. You don’t want to overload the music, if you do it looses it’s power.” – Aiste Noreikaite
You’re probably wondering what this concept actually sounds like. Right now the technology is still very much in it’s infancy so it it only able to produce very basic tonal accompaniments. Think of modern minimal electronic music similar to the avant-garde artist and composer Le Monte Young. Since it is still very much in its infancy, don’t expect this to be on store shelves by the next holiday season. What Noreikaite has done is to lay the ground work for this technology to develop. We are excited to see what will come of it and what the future holds for getting that music out of your head.
How do you think this will change the world of composing/ producing?
H/T Fast Company
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