The Space Between Us. A Live Performance with Musical Score Generated via Emotional Levels Measured in EEG of One Performer and an Audience Member

Eaton, Joel and Jin, Weiwei and Miranda, Eduardo

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Space Between Us is a live performance piece for vocals, piano and live electronics using a Brain-Computer Music Interface system for emotional control of the score. The system not only aims to reflect emotional states but to direct and induce emotional states through the real-time generation of the score, highlighting the potential of direct neural-emotional manipulation in live performance. The EEG of the vocalist and one audience member is measured throughout the performance and the system generates a real-time score based on mapping the emotional features within the EEG. We measure the two emotional descriptors, valence and arousal, within EEG and map the two-dimensional correlate of averaged windows to musical phrases. These pre-composed phrases contain associated emotional content based on the KTH Performance Rules System (Director Musices). The piece is in three movements, the first two are led by the emotions of each subject respectively, whilst the third movement interpolates the combined response of the performer and audience member. The system not only aims to reflect the individuals’ emotional states but also attempts to induce a shared emotional experience by drawing the two responses together. This work highlights the potential available in affecting neural-emotional manipulation within live performance and demonstrates a new approach to real-time, affectively-driven composition.