Heartmonic (heart+harmonic) is an interactive performance piece that uses the bodies of participants as instruments, turning their heartbeats into a symphonic ensemble in real time. 


What if people's heart rhythms create music based on their interaction with other people? 


Two groups of participants will be a part of this performance: eight dancers, or eight individuals. Heart rate sensors are connected to each of the eight participants, and their heart rhythms are converted to sound. Each individual is assigned the sound of a different instrument—cello, piano, violin, marimba, percussion, flute, clarinet, or bassoon—which is controlled by their heartbeat. The artist, who acts as a conductor, will guide the participants in both physical and emotional activities designed to provoke their feelings. These activities include choreographed dance movements, holding hands, hugging, tickling, and kissing. Resting heartbeats will be associated with a slower tempo, and elevated heartbeats correspond to more dynamic sounds, giving feedback to the participants about their state of body and mind.

[Part I. Eight Individuals: Singles & Couples]

[Part III. Eight Individuals & Audience] Opening performance

The performance uses Polar H7 heart rate strap sensors to monitor the captured heart data from a custom-built iOS app to process real-time sound from Ableton Live and MaxforLive. I worked with a Brooklyn-based creative audio studio, Antfood to compose the sound of this performance.

Original music by Antfood
Participants (Part I): Carlos Terán, Cecilia Zhang, Jerllin Cheng, Joseph Weiss, Linnéa Mellander, Magdalena Kovarik, Pablo Gnecco, Sofy Yuditskaya
Dancers (Part II): Alonso Guzman, Carlye Eckert, Daniel Ching, Jeremy Pheiffer, Katie Gaydos, Kayla Farrish, Marielis Garcia, Xavier Townsend
Participants (Part III): Frank Clifford, Francisco E Ramirez, Izabel Paez, Kouryou Ngin, Michelle Huang, Olya Mikhaliova, Sonia Li, Whitney Falk
Opening Photos by Samantha Nandez (BFA.com) 

Special thanks to Aaron Sherwood, Amar Lal, Jihyun Lee, Jenna Rothstein, Jesse Chorng, Jimmy Chorng, Sam Tarakajian

Year: 2016
Medium: A custom-built iOS App "Heartmonic", MaxforLive, Ableton Live, 8 iPads, 8 iPad stands, 8 Polar H7 heart rate sensor, 1 Laptop, 1 audio cable, 1 MIDI controller