top of page

Sound of Mind & Body // Bill Coleman



Year of creation: 2020

Duration: 60 min

One dancer and one musician

This collaboration by Bill Coleman and Gordon Monahan uses biosensing technology to produce sound, music, and movement. Brainwave and muscle-sensing interfaces worn by dancer-choreographer Coleman send biosensing data to several Max/MSP software patches in real-time. As Coleman shifts through various states of mental and physical concentration and movement, he is able to produce and control alpha-brainwaves while dancing. He uses these alpha waves in conjunction with Monahan’s software manipulations, to produce various responses in musical instruments such as piano and percussion, to control the fading of stage lights, and to control sound spatialization and audio processing, all in real-time. Monahan simultaneously controls several Max/MSP software patches on stage that harness Coleman’s brain signals and muscle tension to sculpt soundwaves, light, instrumental composition and kinetic actions into a progressively layered multi-media artwork.

This piece follows a musical tradition that creates music out of brainwaves, an approach developped by Alvin Lucier, David Rosenboom, Richard Teitelbaum and other artists during the sixties. In fact, turning brainwaves into sound was first performed in 1928 by British scientist Edgar Douglas Adrian (1889–1977), who was the first to translate them to soundwaves in laboratory experiments.


Performance - Bill Coleman & Gordon Monahan

Support - Canada Council for the Arts, Mois Multi/Recto Verso

Photos : Wayne Eardley

bottom of page