By Jachin Pousson (Systematic Musicology Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, Riga, Latvia).
Free entrance. For members of the university only, unless otherwise stated.
The call for BCMI research within ecologically valid contexts has been echoed by many under the umbrella of Systematic Musicology. The process and experience of Embodied Musical Interaction provides this context, as well as a framework for research using the EEG method. Due to the high time resolution of the EEG, embodied musical action and perception may be examined and harnessed for BCMI use. At JVLMA, research aims to test BCMI prospects for opening novel channels for musical action-perception and expressivity in embodied musical interaction. Currently the Systematic Musicology department collaborates with research teams at laboratories in Taiwan and Lithuania within an interdisciplinary project to develop a BCMI system capable of supporting affective communication. Towards that aim, efforts at JVLMA have focused on developing tools which represent the main components of a typical BCMI system – EEG input, Signal Processing, Transformation Algorithm, Musical Engine, Audio Output, and Audio/Visual Stimulation. These tools are developed as patches within widely available hardware and software to maximise reproducibility and customisation of resulting BCMI systems. The promise of real-time affective state recognition and communication via the EEG offers tantalising prospects to BCMI application ranging from the most practical to the most hedonistic, but improving signal to noise ratio in highly noisy environments remains a primary challenge. Thus the ability to swap out, tweak, filter and tune each component is theorised to ease the current challenges of improving signal to noise ratio when BCMI systems are designed for use outside the laboratory.