create and management music with thought

Molécule and The Absolut Company Creation embraced the challenge of science fiction: they invented a new thought-driven instrument and embarked on a tour with it. The last rehearsals of the Brain Performance Mix have just taken place before its premiere in Paris on 104 May 18 and starting on the roads. Electronic music and new technologies are reuniting to shape the future.

Article from Tsugi 150: Dylan Dylan, urtrax, Marina Trench, Romane Santarelli: Electro, the World After

👉 And a surprise! Tsugi wins you 2×2 tickets to attend the first performance of MolĂ©cule using Brain Performance Mix technology, on Wednesday, May 18 at 104, in Paris.

📬 To participate, simply send an email with your name + surname to the following address: [email protected] with the theme “Competition BPM”

It is a magnificent uncertainty, not of sport, but of creation. By the end of the tour, there will be enough care for the team BPM, an acronym for Brain Performance Mix, conceived as “the first musical performance created and controlled by an artist’s thought” and about which we have already talked a bit in Tsugi. “The instrument is ready, it is very young, but it works. I even gave him the name Jil, ”says MolĂ©cule a few days before he entered the residence for the first live rehearsals of this new genre concert, which he has been working on for several months. “On the other hand, we still don’t know how Yil will react when we use him on stage in public. How will this be affected by the play of light, the reaction of the public or possible interference due to the saturation of Bluetooth waves in the concert hall. Besides, I don’t even know how I will react, using this instrument requires enormous concentration. But if this fragility of the device and the gray areas that surround this performance are worrying, they are first and foremost very exciting, especially since I don’t want a safety net. I don’t want to fix the performance, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, you have to accept that. ” BPM was born in 2019 thanks to the encouragement of the sponsorship structure of The Absolut Company Creation, which since 2016 has enabled the birth OX then Physis, two luminous scenographic installations that already combine electronic music and new technologies, which have accompanied in the field of neurotechnology. “They developed a very lightweight helmet that allowed the brain waves associated with the visual cortex to be transformed into digital commands, which are especially used in the world of video games. Nextmind wanted to bring this technology to other worlds and they warmly welcomed our somewhat crazy dream of creating the first live designed and controlled brain activity. ”

Inner journey

Then it was necessary to find a musician who would use this technology to bring it on stage. Here comes Romain De La Haye-Serafini, better known as MolĂ©cule, especially for his field work in the field and who readily admits that he “likes to test new tools”. As soon as the Absolut Company Creation team introduced him to the helmet developed by Nextmind and its capabilities, MolĂ©cule had an intuition: “I was told that this technology is a kind of third hand that allows you to do more things with my machines, but I immediately felt that can go further. Opening and closing buttons with the third hand is a trick. I’m not sure the musicians really need extra help. ” What MolĂ©cule is interested in is “facing technology that requires concentration, almost a journey within oneself, to send orders, to operate a machine, which seems to me quite close to creation itself. The technology developed by Nextmind is based on brain activity, they found a way to understand it and use it to execute commands. Personally, I wanted the mood of the musicians to influence how the controls will be performed and thus how the instrument will sound. My wish was to be able to invent an original instrument from this technology and to sound different depending on the person who uses it and his mood during the day “. Science fiction is not far away. To get the most out of the technology developed by Nextmind, go beyond the simple, albeit spectacular stages of opening or closing controls with just your brain, to “get continuous information from a sensor placed on your skull, which will produce instrument sound evolving to the state of mind of the person playing it ”, the third brain arrives on the ship in 2021, Benjamin LĂ©vy. A pure product of Ircam (Institute for Research and Acoustic / Music Coordination), as he defines himself, Benjamin LĂ©vy is an engineer, computer scientist and musician (cellist) at the same time, and has always worked on merging science and music. After spending his entire career at Ircam, Benjamin LĂ©vy had just left when a proposal fell to him to work with MolĂ©cule. “What attracted me was to combine the latest technology with music and go to a concert. I did that for years at IRCAM. This time, I had the opportunity to do it in another world of music. A new horizon. ” Together, MolĂ©cule and Benjamin will encourage Nextmind to open the hood of their invention and develop Jil so that it is not only thought-driven, but also truly shapes sound.

Brain Performance Mix feat Molécule by The Absolut Company Creation © Sarah Bastin

An instrument of the future

It remains to be played on stage. Because of the three challenges of the project BPM, to create a new instrument, to play it on stage and to make it clear to the public what it allows – while by its nature it is invisible – the last stage is not the simplest. How to make visible invisible even when during live electronic music, many people often have trouble understanding what a musician does with his machines? During live BPM, doesn’t even turn any more buttons. The Franz & Fritz agency, which specializes in using lights and creating spectacular sets (for many fashion shows, but also for the Clara Luciani or Peacock festival), will propose splitting the stage into two spaces, a classic studio, a real Molecule machine dashboard, and it is reserved for Yil, embodied in a very pure form of monolith inspired by the one from 2001, Space Odyssey. On stage, MolĂ©cule walks back and forth between the two, Nextminda’s helmet tightens – “until he bleeds” – on his head. When he appears in front of Jil, like the astronaut from Stanley Kubrick’s film, a “calibration process” takes place until a synthetic voice announces a “connected brain.” The molecule can then shape the sound, work on it with its brain, and then return to its machines to play it, without the neural connection being broken and Yil ceasing to react to the musician’s emotions. Every time MolĂ©cule appears in front of Jil, with his hands behind his back, the sound develops as if he were alive. So, to better understand this abstraction, you need a part of theatricality in this play, without it ever being to the detriment of the music, which is especially intense and resolutely dancing with its nails on Daft Punk. Even without always understanding what is happening, music retains all its rights. From the first rehearsals MolĂ©cule came out happy but exhausted by the concentration the exercise required for more than an hour. “In the end, the intense light show devised by Franz & Fritz didn’t affect Jil as much as it did me. Sometimes I have trouble focusing. ” As for the interference from Bluetooth signals that Benjamin LĂ©vy feared, it seems that they do not affect the “instrument of the future”, as everyone is proud to say. The premiere of Brain Performance Mix will take place on May 18 at 104 in Paris by invitation. The MolĂ©cule will then embark on a tour of various venues, with a special dinner at the closing of the Nuits Sonores in Lyon on May 29, at the opening of the Curiosity Weekend at Bikini in Toulouse on June 2, at Bon Air in Marseille on June 2 3 or at Peacock in September. It is clear that tomorrow is today.

👉 And a surprise! Tsugi wins you 2×2 tickets to attend the first performance of MolĂ©cule using Brain Performance Mix technology, on Wednesday, May 18 at 104, in Paris.

📬 To participate, simply send an email with your name + surname to the following address: [email protected] with the theme “Competition BPM”

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