The world’s first neural synthesiser is coming to Berlin

cellF © Guy Ben-Ary

The synth, created by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, artists and technologists around Guy Ben-Ary, will be used in two performances at Technosphärenklänge 3

This Friday and Saturday, HKW in collaboration with CTM Festival will present a series of performances from projects occupying the intersection between art and science. These include Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand’s “Force Field”, in which acoustically levitated water droplets are reverse-translated into sound and Robert Henke’s “Lumiere III”, a visual and audio performance that challenges human perception and multimodal sensory processing.

The night with also feature a performance using cellF, the world’s first neural synthesiser. The synthesiser’s ‘brain’ is made of biological neural networks that grew in a lab featuring a DIY high precision tissue culture incubator and a DIY certified class 2 laminar flow biological safety cabinet to work with human genetic modified material.

The “body” is composed of analogue modular synthesizers. The result is a cybernetic musician capable of exchanging musical dialogue with human musicians, whose input is fed into cellF’s neural networks as electrical stimulation. Across these two nights, Schneider TM (12 May) and vocalist Stine Janvin (13 May) will be the ones providing the electrical stimulation.

You can find out more about the fascinating project by watching the documentary below.

cellF is the result of a collaborative effort between designer and new media artist Nathan Thompson, electrical engineer and synthesiser builder Dr. Andrew Fitch, musician Dr. Darren Moore, Stem cell scientist Dr. Michael Edel, Neuro-scientist Dr. Stuart Hodgetts, and Neuro-Engineer Dr. Douglas Bakkum.