Japanese artist creates music using brain waves

Normal instruments aren't enough for musician Masaki Batoh, so the Japanese artist and therapist created a machine that can create sound from brain waves.

Minoru Tsuyuki/Drag City

News of the mind-controlled skateboard spurred a rather heated discussion on Crave this week about how we could apply brain-wave-powered tech to other aspects of our lives.

Of all the things we came up with, music was not one of them. However, Japanese artist Masaki Batoh's had the wherewithal to make that connection.

Wanting to remember and help those affected by last year's Great East Japan earthquake, Batoh produced a new album, called "Brain Pulse Music," that took survivors' brain waves and turned them into music.

Batoh's instrument of choice was something called the Brain Pulse Music Machine. It consists of a modified EEG machine, which measures electrical activity in the brain, and some crazy-looking headgear mounted with sensors.

With the machine hooked up to his volunteers (the sensors are attached to their earlobes), Batoh showed various images of Japan to the earthquake survivors to stimulate their brains. The EEG machine reads the brain activity, sending data on it to the attached motherboard and translating it into sound.

Batoh, who also specializes in treating those with developmental disabilities, actually designed the machine to help his patients gain some control over their mental activity. With the immediate audio feedback, individuals can learn to control the sound, with the goal being to send the mind into a meditative state.

The result, as you'll see and hear in the video below, is fascinating yet haunting. It's not really something I'd have in my music rotation, but Batoh's album is available now for $20. In addition, you can buy the Brain Pulse Music Machine for $700 if you feel like making some experimental music of your own.

(Via Cool Hunting)

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

 

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