Biocomputer music is a niche field focusing on biological processes that inform and create musical compositions.
One such example, highlighted in this short documentary, is a biocomputer that runs on mould and is capable of performing a “duet” alongside a piano.
Professor Eduardo R. Miranda of Plymouth University has created a unique biocomputer music system that runs on slime mould, a type of “fungus animal” that produces electrical signals when it searches for food. Because of this property, scientists have been using for research in robotics and biocomputing.
Miranda’s system works like this: “A microphone captures what he’s playing on the piano, which is then translated to the biocomputer, which uses slime mould cultured on circuit boards. An iPad provides commands for the computer to play notes back to Miranda based on the input it received. It then plays the piano via electromagnets which vibrate the wire strings.”
“I’m interested here not in the attack of the sound, I’m interested in […] those sounds that vibrate after you attack it. That quality of sound that normally we don’t associate with the piano,” Miranda explained.
Watch the documentary below. [via The Creators Project]