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Release Info: TOM CAMERON-MUSIC TO WASH DISHES BY, LP, 1982, USA
A flat out stunning private press synth music mega-rarity from an artist controlling his keys with a homemade biofeedback monitor rigged to manipulate his synth parameters. The results range from eerie baths of narcotized 5 AM blear to nervously chittering and ticking cascades of cartoonish Tom Dissevelt/Raymond Scott-like melodies and rhythms. This is truly a marvel to behold, though it's best to leave a fuller description here to the words of the artist himself, via the Matrixsynth site:
"What I think might be of most interest is what I was doing in the performance and how I was controlling the synthesizers. There is a white headband that I am wearing which contains three electrodes which are monitoring my brain waves using a biofeedback machine. This biofeedback monitor would register a small voltage pulse each time that I could successfully maintain a relatively steady alpha state. The brain biofeedback monitor is then connected to an optical interface. This allows me to use the feedback voltage to control the synthesizers without the risk of a ground loop frying my brain. The control voltage of about five volts was then used to control the pitch and filters of the EML 101 and also advance step by step the sequencer on the EML 4004/401. The result was that I could control and play the synthesizers with brain waves alone.
OK, so I couldn't play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" but I did create synthesizer sounds by just thinking about them. I thought that this was pretty cool but not many people understood it at the time. They were two young kids that did get it. They bought a few balloons and sneaked up behind my lawn chair and popped the balloons. As I have a slow shock response nothing happened but about ten minutes later a yellow jacket (I hate yellow jackets) came buzzing around my head and the synthesizers went crazy.
At the time I thought I'd come up with a pretty original demonstration. But later I found out that Alvin Lucier had done a similar demonstration ten years earlier. He obviously did not use synthesizers at that time but he did use biofeedback to control solenoid operated percussion instruments. And currently Tod Machover is pursuing mind-music connections in a similar vein but with much more sophisticated equipment. I also painted the cover art."
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