Kora-Som: an interface that converts a player's beating heart into a real-time metronome

Leonardo Fuksa, Gabriel Mouraa and Frederico Jandreb

aRio de Janeiro Federal University
bBiomedical Engineering Program, Rio de Janeiro Federal University

Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 11:00 to 11:10

in Summer Theater

Abstract :
The heart beat is a central timing reference in life and in music. Several composers and players along history have mentioned the heart rate as a measure for the musical pulse. On the other hand, it is known that listening and playing music affects the heart beat frequency. besides other physiological signals. The purpose of this project consists of building a device that detects, measures and replicates a subject's heart beat and makes it available for musical research and performance. The Kora-Som system employs a commercial heart rate sensor, widely used in sports. The data from this meter are received and decoded by a remote sensor, connected to an arduino and a portable computer. A piece of software generates and plays sounds from wavetables, melodic sequences, midi files and other formats and protocols. A player may litterally play with his/her own heart, what opens a large range of composing and improvising fields. A whole musical group is able to play to/with a certain listener, such as a health patient, in a very touching and stimulating situation. All timing and performing data is recorded and made available for eventual processing and evaluation.

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