MusicLab vol.1: Biophysical Music

"Biophysical Music" is volume 1 of the new concept "MusicLab", a series of events exploring the science of music from different perspectives. The idea is to mix research and edutainment through hands-on workshops, intellectual warm-ups, performances and data jockeying.


Biophysical music is the control of musical sounds and parameters by your body. On the 23rd of November, Marco Donnarumma, the distinguished artist-researcher and inventor of XTH Sense (the gear that makes biophysical music possible) will show two of his muscle music performances, and a panel of scientists will contribute a multidisciplinary understanding of the phenomenon.

After the gig we invite you to stay for a beer accompanied by data jockeying (live mixing of data recorded during the performance)!

The event is open to everybody and is relevant for students, researchers, musicians, dancers, artists, technicians and others who sometimes marvel at the phenomena of music and movement.Data will be collected from both performers and a group of audience members. This means that just by attending you will be contributing to research.

The event will be streamed

The doors open at 18:30.

Do you want to make your own XTH Sense gear? Sign up for a workshop before the MusicLab, November 23rd, 10:00-17:00


1. Intellectual warm-up

The phenomenon of biophysical music will be discussed from different perspectives by the experts: 

  • Marco Donnarumma - performance artist and scholar
  • Are Brean - neurologist and Editor in Chief, Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, and Associate Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music​ 
  • Jo C. Bruusgaard - physiologist 
  • Kari Anne Bjerkestrand - choreographer and dancer 
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius - music technologist and Deputy Director of RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion

2. Muscle concert

The muscle concert includes two contributions from Marco and one from Alexander. Marco will be using his XTH Sense technology to perform music through his muscles. This is a breathtaking musical and performative experience you won’t miss! Alexander and his colleagues will play a set of active agumented acoustic guitars, controlled by Myo armbands detecting micromotion and muscle tension.

  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius, Charles Martin, Kari Anne Bjerkestrand, Victoria Johnson : Sverm-muscles
  • Marco Donnarumma : Ominous
  • Marco Donnarumma : Music for flesh II

3. Mingling and data jockeying (live remix of concert data)

After the intellectual warm up and concert we invite you to stay and have a beer and socialize while phd fellow Tejaswinee Kelkar starts the data jockeying session, by remixing and visualizing muscle data recorded during the performance. The data will be made available for everyone, so feel free to open your laptop and do your own data jockeying.

About the artists

Marco Donnarumma is an acclaimed performance artist and scholar who has toured over 60 countries with his pioneering works.

“A unique presence across contemporary performance and media art, Marco Donnarumma distinguishes himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver artworks that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, as well as artificial intelligence and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his focus on sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment.”(The quote is from his website.)

Alexander Refsum Jensenius is an associate professor of music technology at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo, Norway. His research focuses on why music makes us move, and this he explores through empirical studies using different types of motion sensing technologies. He also uses the knowledge and tools from his analytic work in the creation of new music. Then he performs on keyboard instruments, with his own interfaces for musical expression and with motion tracking technologies. (Read more about his work here)

How to get there

Escape is the bar of the informatics students. It is located in the mysterious concrete catacombs of Ole Johan Dahls hus in Forskningsparken. It is a short walk from Forskningsparken metro station, just a few stops from the city centre.

The event will be streamed live



Published Nov. 7, 2017 11:38 AM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2021 9:24 AM