Brain Musics: History, Precedents, and Commentary on Whalley, Mavros and Furniss


  • Miguel Ortiz Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Mick Grierson Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Atau Tanaka Goldsmiths, University of London



EEG, composition, cognition, live electronics, performance.


Whalley, Mavros and Furniss (this issue) explore questions of agency, control and interaction, as well as the embodied nature of musical performance in relation to the use of human-computer interaction through the work Clasp Together (beta) for small ensemble and live electronics. The underlying concept of the piece focuses on direct mapping of a human neural network (embodied by a performer within the ensemble) to an artificial neural network running on a computer. With our commentary, we contextualize the work by offering a brief history of music that uses brainwaves. We review the use of EEG signals for musical performance and point at precedents in EEG-based musical practice. We hope to more clearly situate Clasp Together (beta) in the broad area of Brain Computer Musical Interfaces and discuss the challenges and opportunities that these technologies offer for composers.