Xth Sense

Xth Sense: Make your own biophysical sensor for interactive music and video.

2 day workshop: 14.07. & 15.07.2012, 13:00-19:00
Cost: €80 for 2 day workshop + €20 for material costs
Register before 06.07.2012 at workshops@leapknecht.de
Places are Limited to 10 candidates
Facebook Event


Hands on training in augmentation of the body for musical performance with Marco Donnarumma.

Creating your own low cost biosensing wearable device for muscle sounds.

Details below.

About the Workshop

The workshop offers a hands-on experience and both theoretical and practical training in gestural control of music and bodily musical performance of music and live video, deploying the Xth Sense (XS), a brand-new, biophysical and open technology.  The XS was recently awarded the first prize in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition (Georgia Tech, US 2012) as the “world’s most innovative new musical instrument”. Participants build their own XS biosensor and learn how to generate interactive music from the muscle sounds of their bodies.

Developed by the workshop teacher Marco Donnarumma within a research project at The University of Edinburgh, the XS is a framework for the application of muscle sounds to the biophysical generation and control of music. It consists of a low cost, DIY biosensing wearable device and an Open Source based software for capture, analysis and audio processing of biological sounds of the body (Pure Data-based).

Muscle sounds are captured in real time and used both as sonic source material and control values for sound effects, enabling the performer to control music simply with his body and kinetic energy. Forget your mice, MIDI controllers, you will not even need to look at your laptop anymore.

The XS biosensor was designed to be easily implemented by anyone, no previous experience in electronics is required.  The applications of the Xth Sense technology are manifold: from complex gestural control of audio and video sampling synthesis, through biophysical generation of music and sounds, to kinetic control of real time digital processing of traditional musical instruments, control of external vjing software and more.


Firstly participants will be introduced to the the XS Technology by its author and led through the assembling of their own biophysical wearable hardware using the materials provided. Next, they will become proficient with the XS software framework: all the features of the framework will be unleashed through practical exercises. Theoretical background on the state of art of gestural control of music and new musical instruments will be developed by means of an audiovisual review and participatory critical analysis of relevant projects selected by the instructor. Eventually, participants will combine hardware and software to learn how to master the XS system in a performative context.

At the end of the workshop the participants will be free to keep the XS biosensors they built and the related software for their own use.

Prospective Participants

The workshop is open to anyone passionate about sound and music. Musical background and education does not matter as long as you are ready to challenge your usual perspective on musical performance. Composers, producers, sound designers, musicians, field recordists are all welcome to join our team for an innovative and highly creative experience. No previous experience in electronics or programming is required, however participants should be familiar with digital music creation.


Participants need to provide their own headphones, external soundcards and laptops with Pd-extended 0.42.5 already installed. Free download is available at http://puredata.info/community/projects/software/pd-extended.

We will work either on Linux or Mac OSX (system have to be 10.6 or newer. If you don’t have access to either of them, please download a live distribution of Pure:Dyne at: http://puredyne.org/index.html

Musicians interested in augmenting their favourite musical instrument by means of body gestures are encouraged to bring their instrument along.

More information about the XS and a video of a live performance can be viewed on-line at:




Marco Donnarumma

New media and sonic artist, performer and teacher, Marco Donnarumma was born in Italy and is based in Edinburgh, UK. Weaving a thread around biomedia research, musical and theatrical performance, participatory practices and subversive coding, he looks at the collision of critical creativity with humanized technologies.

Marco has performed and spoken in 28 countries including US and South America, Europe, India, China, South Korea and Australia. His works have been selected at leading art events (ISEA, Venice Biennale, WRO Biennale), specialized festivals (FILE, Sonorities, Némo, Mapping, Piksel, Re-New, Laboral, EMAF, Visionsonic, Carnival of e-Creativity) and major academic conferences (NIME, ICMC, Pure Data Convention, Linux Audio Conference Stanford CCRMA, SICMF).

His projects have been reviewed on Wired, Create Digital Music, We Make Money Not Art, Rhizome, Weave, Turbulence.org. Most recently, he appeared in the book “New Art/Science Affinities” (CMU and Studio for Creative Enquiry, US). Artist in residence at Inspace (UK) and the National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance (DK). His work has been funded by the European Commission, Creative Scotland, New Media Scotland and the Danish Arts Council.


“MAX/JITTER for beginners” presented by Claudia Robles Angel 11.07. & 12.07.2012, 15:00-19.00
Find Infos here: Facebook Event

Marco Donnarumma and Claudia Robles Angel both will perform at LEAP at
“Body Controlled #4 - Bio Interfacing”.
Opening on Friday, 13.07.2012, from 20.00.

Find Infos hereFacebook Event


Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance
(Berlin Carré 1. floor)
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13
10178 Berlin


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