The World’s First Neural Synthesizer Creates Music From Human Cells

The World’s First Neural Synthesizer Creates Music From Human Cells
Arts & Culture

CellF explore the possibilities of creating music and art through bioengineering

Eva Recinos
  • 10 may 2016

The ways that we can make music continue to expand thanks to experiments that explore how technology can create unique sounds. Guy Ben-Ary takes this theme one step further by exploring how bioengineering can result in a totally new of making music.

Self-described as “the world’s first neural synthesizer,” CellF resulted from a project by makers in different areas, from new media art to electrical engineering to stem cell science.

CellF works through “neural networks that grow in a Petri dish.” These then control a system “that is made of an array of analogue modular synthesizers that work in synergy with it and play with human musicians.” It consists of a neural network created from Ben-Ary’s cells; his skin cells were turned into stem cells through “Induced Pluripotent Stem cell technology.”

The idea behind CellF is to allow the musician and the instrument to become one. CellF uses 16 speakers to capture neural activity and create the unique sounds resulting from the system.

Ben-Ary explains more about the project on his website:

Human musicians are invited to play with cellF in special one-off shows. The human-made music is fed to the neurons as stimulation, and the neurons respond by controlling the analogue synthesizers, and together they perform live, reflexive and improvised sound pieces or “jam sessions” that are not entirely human.

By involving a Petri dish, synthesizer, feedback stimulation and other complex parts, CellF showcases yet another way to create sound in a unique way.

Guy Ben-Ary

+human cells
+neural network

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