BioData to Midi with the Open Source MIDI Bio-Sonification Module

“Bio-sonification,” basically means using technology to turn the bio-rhythms of natural objects into sound.

Bio-sonification workshop: non-human collaboration (mycelium to midi and beyond!) Tuesday and Thursday, December 11th & 13th 7pm-10pm $95/pp
Collaborate sonically with the non-human organisms around you. Next time you go on a picnic bring along your Bio-sonification Module & listen to the sounds of the forest, how it responds to your presence then, place the electrodes onto your friends or hook up your houseplant and see how it really feels!
Students receive step by step guidance putting together their own Bio-Sonification Module kits and help in understanding how the device works. To better understand how the Bio-Sonification module works, on the first evening we Breadboard our components and Flash our Atmega chips. Once everything is connected and operating properly we then solder our kits together! Once the kits are built participants are shown how to change Midi scales/channels, LED brightness and more with Arduino. We will also discuss MIDI and how it works.
Last half of the workshop participants place electrodes onto plants, fungi, themselves or each other and listen to their Bio-data through Ableton Live, Animoog, Model 15 (or similar digital music apps and analogue synths) creating a Bio-Sonification Symphony!

Various plants, soil and Mycelium will be available during the workshop for
participants to place their electrodes onto along with iConnectivity Midi to USB/Lightning connectors for participants to try out different instruments/software; Ableton, Animoog on iPad, Model 15 (on iPhone & iPad), Moog Mother32s, Make Noise NoCoast, etc. Other possibilities are shown and discussed, for instance, Ableton Max/MSP Midi video disruption!

What’s included?
Each participant receives their very own Bio-Sonification Module kit (Printed circuit board and all necessary components (resistors, capacitors, LEDs, chips, etc), a Module container file that can be 3D printed offsite and a lo-tech version we will put together during the workshop, a set of electrodes w/Bio-medical pads OR electrode clips (participants can choose during the workshop).

Prerequisite? Using a soldering iron is super helpful as we will be soldering electrical components to circuit boards (We will also show people how-to). Some Ableton Live knowledge is helpful, but not necessary!
What to bring along?
Solderless Breadboard: We will have some available for use, but feel free to bring your own!
A laptop with Ableton live installed or a Smartphone or iPad with the Animoog app or Model 15 app installed or Mini Moog Model D!
There are many digital synths available for smartphones and iPads, make sure the one(s) you want to work with are MIDI capable.  Please bring headphones.
Try Live for free (30 day trial)
Soldering irons will be available for use, but again please feel free to bring along your own!

USB/Lightning connectors by iConnectivity will be available for participants to try out with their iPads/iPhones/Androids (and purchase) or purchase ahead of class through Moog Audio!

Biodata Sonification is a process to translate complex real-time sensor data into musical notes and controls, exploring the auditory sensory modality to provide insights into invisible phenomenon.

Seacliff life along Húnaflói Bay, Iceland.

As an artist, I am interested in how all things sense and communicate. Directly connecting to our surrounding biology. Electrodes are attached to non-human organisms and pick up subtle fluctuations in galvanic conductance on the surface of these organisms. These fluctuations are translated to MIDI using technology based off of the original MIDI Sprout. Through sampling pulse widths and identifying fluctuations, MIDI note and control messages are generated, which are then sent into analogue and digital synthesizers.

I was so excited by my first experiments of attaching electrodes onto Mycelium (I started growing Mycelium in February 2018) that I immediately wanted to share this experience with everyone! This spawned Midnight Mushroom Music and I am wholly devoted! Every Saturday night at 23:00/11pm EST a new episode goes live through the Mycelium Network (aka Soundcloud & iTunes).  


The Open Source Biodata-Sonification Modules were originally designed and created by Engineer, Sam Cusumano. Visit Sam’s biodata forum over at electricity for progress Plus, he sells a bunch of super cool electronic kits, boards and more!

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