Garton, Brad & Soldier, Dave - The Brainwave Music Project,
Imagine if thoughts could be turned into music without actually having to physically play an instrument? For the last ten years musician/ neuroscientist Dave Soldier and composer/computer- musician Brad Garton have been experimenting in using electroencephalograph (EEG) machines to do just that. An EEG measures the electrical activity in the brain, and they have developed some software tool that can generate music using this brainwave data. In shows Dave gives a lecture on the brain’s cortical activity, Brad explains how this is turned into music, and then they use their own brainwaves or those of guest musicians to “compose” in real time.
This album features four different soloists, who all played on 3 or 4 songs, and they are credited on each as playing their own instrument (flute, Hardanger fiddle, mandolin or drums) plus EEG. Perhaps unsurprisingly the result is incredibly Avant Garde, and quite unlike anything I have come across before this. There is no musical rhythm or repetition, yet although it is often chaotic, somehow it does all seem to make sense, which must be right as the soloist is accompanying his/herself, although not consciously. It is strange, at times unsettling, sometimes oriental, and always strangely compelling. This will definitely only be of interest who enjoy their music to come out of left field, as it doesn’t get much further from the mainstream than this.