Minding the (Transatlantic) Gap: An Internet-Enabled Acoustic Brain-Computer Music Interface

Mullen, Tim and Warp, Richard and Jansch, Adam

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The use of non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) in the experimental arts is not a novel concept. Since 1965, EEG has been used in a large number of, sometimes highly sophisticated, systems for musical and artistic expression. However, since the advent of the synthesizer, most such systems have utilized digital and/or synthesized media in sonifying the EEG signals. There have been relatively few attempts to create interfaces for musical expression that allow one to mechanically manipulate acoustic instruments by modulating one’s mental state. Secondly, few such systems afford a distributed performance medium, with data transfer and audience participation occurring over the Internet. The use of acoustic instruments and Internet-enabled communication expands the realm of possibilities for musical expression in Brain-Computer Music Interfaces (BCMI), while also introducing additional challenges. In this paper we report and examine a first demonstration (Music for Online Performer) of a novel system for Internet-enabled manipulation of robotic acoustic instruments, with feedback, using a non-invasive EEG-based BCI and low-cost, commercially available robotics hardware.