DECONcert: Making Waves with Water, EEG, and Music

  • Steve Mann
  • James Fung
  • Ariel Garten
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4969)


We describe events in which music, water and the brain form an immersive environment for human-computer and human-computer-human collective engagement. The theme of sound wave production, regeneration and audition from water waves and brain waves is our central exploration, beginning with our DECONcerts in which participants, immersed in water and connected to EEG equipment, regeneratively create or affect live music by varying their alpha wave output. We explored the five states-of-matter (Classical Elements) of solid (“Earth”), liquid (“Water”), gas (“Air”), plasma (“Fire”), and quintessence (“Idea”), in the context of immersive media (e.g. when the surrounding state-of-matter was liquid). Some of these immersive environments spanned multiple countries, by way of networked connectivity. We also expanded from philosophical to therapeutic contexts by including Parkinson’s patients in our immersed environments.


Alpha Activity Humanistic Intelligence Sound Quality Audience Member Brain Wave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Brankack, J., Stewart, S.F.M.: Current source density analysis of the hippocampal theta rhythm: Associated sustained potentials and candidate synaptic generators. Brain Research 615(2), 310–327 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cromwell, L., Weibell, F.J., Pfeiffer, E.A., Usselman, L.B.: Biomedical Instrumentation and Measurements. Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs (1973)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Legewie, H., Simonova, O., Crutzfeldt, O.D.: EEG Changes During Performance of Various Tasks Under Open- and Closed-eyed Conditions. Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam (1969)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lucier, A.: Music for Solo Performer (1965), for enormously amplified brain waves and percussion. Lovely Music, Ltd., (1982)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lucier, A.: Music for alpha waves, assorted percussion, and automated coded relays, on “imaginary landscapes”. Elektra/Nonesuch 79235-2 (1989)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lusted, H.S., Knapp, R.B.: Controlling computers with neural signals. Scientific American Magazine, 82–88 (October 1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mann, S.: Humanistic intelligence/humanistic computing: ‘wearcomp’ as a new framework for intelligent signal processing. Proceedings of the IEEE 86(11), 2123–2151 (1998), CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosenboom, D.: Method of producing sounds or light flashes with alpha brain waves for artistic purposes. Leonardo 5(1) (1972)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Steve Mann, M.F., Fung, J., Baccanico, G.: Panopdecon: deconstructing, decontaminating, and decontextualizing panopticism in the postcyborg era. Surveillance & Society 1(3), 375–398 (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Mann
    • 1
  • James Fung
    • 1
  • Ariel Garten
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.NeuroconsultingTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations