MARCO DONNARUMMA

Performing bodies, sounds and machines

Marco Donnarumma | sound art and performance art, human body and biotechnology


MARCO
DONNARUMMA

Music for Flesh II

Music for Flesh II is a an interactive sound art performance for enhanced body. The piece is performed in a concert setting with a circular array of subwoofers and loudspeakers.

About the work

The piece creates a seamless mediation between human bioacoustics and algorithmic composition using the XTH Sense, a biophysical musical instrument created by the author.

A performer stands in a dark room, hit with two spotlights. When the visitors enter the room the performance begins. As the performer moves, muscle movements and blood flow produce subcutaneous mechanical oscillations, which are nothing but low frequency sound waves. Two chip microphone sensors capture the sonic matter created by the performer limbs and send it to a computer.

The computer develops an understanding of the performer’s kinetic behaviour by listening to the friction of his flesh. Specific gesture, force levels and patterns are identified in real time by the computer; then, according to this information, the computer manipulates algorithmically the sound of the performer’s flesh and diffuses it through an octophonic sound system.

The computer learns about and interact with the performance: strong and wide movements repeated for longer than 30 seconds prompt the computer to increase the sound loudness and density of the processed output; a repeated excitement of the left bicep causes a rich vibrato; an abrupt contraction of the right forearm moves the sound across the right side of the sonic field.

By enabling a computer to sense and interact with the muscular sonic potential of human tissues, the work approaches the biological body as a means for computational artistry. The neural and biological signals that drive the performer’s actions become analogous expressive matter, for they emerge as a tangible haunting soundscape. The border between physical and virtual body is blurred and dissolved; by harvesting pure kinetic energy from corporeal sounds, incarnated gesture and concrete vibrations, the piece actualizes before the audience eyes a visceral and cognitively challenging territory.

The work defines a temporary cognitive time-zone in which the physical space of the performance is augmented, stretched, enlightened, obscured, dominated by a real time reconstruction of the human body primal expressiveness. Body is no longer silent, and the embodied interaction which was so far kept mute, now acquires a new textural layer, a tangible and profound level of interpretation and representation which can be at the same time intimately experienced by the performer, and audibly and visually externalized in order to embrace the audience.

Award: 1st Prize Guthman Musical Instrument Competition
Keywords: Concert, performance, new interfaces, bioacoustics, physiological computing
Status: Touring

Music for Flesh II photo gallery

  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art  Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art

Year of creation: 2011-2012
Technique: custom-built XTH Sense bioacoustic sensors, computer, loudspeakers, subwoofers, yellow par can spotlights
Duration: 10’00”
Dimensions: min. 8m x8m x4m

Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II Performance Art Sound Art

Exhibitions

  • transmediale Vorspiel Hypernatural Sounds, SomoS Gallery, Berlin, 2016
  • Scope Session Live, Spektrum, Berlin, 2015
  • NEMO Biennale/IRCAM Live, La Gaîté lyrique, Paris, 2015
  • Maintenant Festival, Hotel Pasteur, Rennes, 2015
  • Embodied Sound, University of East London, London, 2015
  • Apiary Session, Apiary Studios, London, 2015
  • MusicMakers Hacklab, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, 2015
  • CTM Festival, Kunsthaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2015
  • Hyphen Hub Salon, Red Door Space, New York City, 2014
  • Spectrum NYC, Dark Circuits Festival, New York City, 2014
  • Olematute kylade projekt / Project for Non-existent Villages, Tartu, EE, 2014
  • Sónar+D / Opening Music Hack Day, Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, ES, 2014
  • Arte Performatica y Tecnologia, ZonAutonoma, Puebla, MX, 2014
  • 2° Encuentro Internacional de Arte Sonoro, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, MX, 2014
  • STEIM Concert of Bodies, Studio for Electro Instrumental Music, Amsterdam, NL, 2014
  • Experimental Intermedia, hosted by Phil Niblock, New York City, NY, US, 2014
  • ICT & Art Connectm Watermans Art Centre, London, UK, 2014
  • TransitioMX Biomediaciones, CENART, Foro de las Artes, Mexico City, MX, 2013
  • DA Fest, National Academy of Arts, Sofia, BG, 2013
  • Kontejner, Sound Art Incubator, Mocvara Gallery, Zagreb, HR, 2013
  • STEIM Summer Party, Studio for Electro Instrumental Music, Amsterdam, NL, 2013
  • POLAND Tour: Falanster, Wroclaw, 2013
  • POLAND Tour: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2013
  • POLAND Tour: Art&Science Meeting, Łaźnia Center for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, 2013
  • SARC Lunchtime Concert, Sonic Arts Research Center, Belfast, NIR, 2012
  • Robots and Avatars/KIBLA Festival, KID Kibla, Maribor, SL, 2012
  • ISEA International Symposium on Electronic Arts, Albuquerque, New Mexico, US, 2012
  • Robots and Avatars UK Selection, Europe House, London, UK, 2012
  • Live Interfaces: Performance, Art, Music, ICSRiM, University of Leeds, UK, 2012
  • Turing Festival/Music Hack Day Scotland, Summerhall, Edinburgh, UK, 2012
  • FILE Hypersonica, SESC-SP, Sao Paulo, BR, 2012
  • Body/Controlled: BioInterfacing, LEAP, Berlin, DE, 2012
  • USA Tour: NIME Conference, Michigan University, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012
  • USA Tour: Share.dj, Gowanus Institute Space, New York, NY, 2012
  • USA Tour: Harvestworks, New York, NY, 2012
  • USA Tour: American University, Washington, DC, 2012
  • USA Tour: They, Who Sound, Avant Garden, Houston, TX, 2012
  • Liveness, Gesture, Prosthesis, Metaphor, CENART, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City, MX, 2012
  • INTER/actions, Bangor University, Bangor, UK, 2012
  • Dialogues, Edinburgh Science Festival, Inspace, Edinburgh, UK, 2012
  • BEAM Night, Cafe OTO, London, 2012
  • Sonorities Festival, SARC, Belfast, IRL, 2012
  • Finals Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition, First Prize, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, US, 2012
  • NetaudioLX Festival, Cinema S. Jorge, Lisbon, PT, 2012
  • Dimensions in Sound, CultureLab Newcastle, UK, 2011
  • Piksel Festival, Studio USF, Bergen, NO, 2011
  • 7° Simposio UNAM, ENAP/UNAM, Mexico City, MX 2011
  • Noise=Noise, nnnnn, London, UK, 2011
  • 4th Pure Data Convention, Bauhaus Universitat, Weimar, DE, 2011
  • Kernel Festival, Desio, IT, 2011
  • BEAM Festival, Uxbridge University, London, UK,  2011
  • Linux Audio Conference, Aula Maxima, NUI Maynooth, NIR, 2011
  • eXperimontag, Madame Claude, Berlin, DE, 2011
  • Non-Bio Boom | Xth Sense, Inspace (School of Informatics and New Media Scotland), Edinburgh, UK, 2011
  • Grind Sight Open Eye, The Spectacular Café Diablo, Edinburgh, UK, 2011
  • Pure Data Mini Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, NIR, 2011
  • The University of Edinburgh, Alison House, Edinburgh, UK, 2011

Credits

Marco Donnarumma – Concept, music, performance, programming
Kevin Hay and Brendan Doyle – Sound engineering
Brendan Doyle – light design
Mark Daniels, Chris Scott, Dimitris Patrikios, Parag K Mital, Fabiola Cordero – Photographers
Edinburgh Hacklab and Dorkbot ALBA – Technical collaboration
Sound Lab Edinburgh – Production
Inspace – In kind support
Creative Scotland – Touring support

Publications

Donnarumma, M.,
Incarnated Sound in Music for Flesh II. Defining Gesture in Biologically Informed Musical Performance

Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA), 18(3), Special Issue “Touch and Go”, Leonardo and MIT Press, 2012.

Donnarumma, M.,
Music for Flesh II: Informing Interactive Music Practice with the Viscerality of the Body System
Proceedings of the New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference (NIME), Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 2012.