For his much anticipated Marathon 4, Mark Mallman is going on the road. The stakes are high, everybody, since his plan is to play music for seven days straight. Obviously, no human being can achieve that, so he decided to turn to technology. His experiment captured the attention of Wired magazine and an article that was just posted on their website (tries to) explain the process.
Every night during his road trip, Mallman will hook himself up to a Polar heart-rate monitor and a Mattel Mindflex headset, both of which will be connected to a laptop running Ableton Live sequencing software. One MIDIchannel will set the song’s tempo using data from the heart-rate monitor. Meanwhile, thanks to the Arduino-modified Mindflex and a friend’s homebrew program called BioWave, Mallman’s brain output will be turned into an additional 10 MIDI signals to produce what he calls “ambient, chordal soundscapes” with the Ableton software.
By day, Mallman will be hooked up to a different brain wave reader, the Emotiv Epoc neuroheadset, to process signals using a program called Mind Synth, which will create tunes in Ableton.
As endless streams of data become more prevalent, geeky scientists and tunesmiths are turning everything from smog to binary stars into unlikely musical compositions. Mallman chose the day-and-night methods he’ll use for Marathon IV: Road Rogue to demonstrate the sonification possibilities available for making biologically generated tunes with relatively simple tech.
Read more at Wired.com.
Marathon4 begins in NYC this Saturday. Minneapolis stop – 09/18. Twitter hashtag: #mmm4