Performing bodies, sounds and machines

Marco Donnarumma | peformance art and technology, sound art and body politics


The Xth Sense (XS) is a biophysical musical instrument. With it one can produce music with the sound of the muscle tissue. The instrument is composed of free software and open hardware.

The XS amplifies the muscle sounds of the human body, and use them as control data and musical material. When a performer contracts any muscle low frequency sound are produced (technically called mechanomyogram or MMG). By capturing these sounds with a microphone embedded in the XS sensor and live sampling them with a computer one creates music in real time. This process can be thought of as plugging a guitar to an effect pedal; but in this case it is the body to be connected to a computer. A performer has complete control over the shape of the sounds by simply contracting muscles in different ways.

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