Eduardo R. Miranda
"... a formidable electroacoustic composer"
- Wire -
"If the goal is to push music-making beyond conventional bounds, Miranda and his colleagues must surely have succeeded."
- MIT Technology Review -
"Today marks a fascinating musical first ... a performance of the world's first Brain-Computer Music Interface (BCMI) quartet."
- The Observer -
A Selection of Composition ProjectsFor more information about my work, please [ CLICK HERE ].
Corpus Callosumchamber orchestra and film
"... it’s quite literally a very cerebral performance." (Drowned in Sound, 09-Mar-15)
Corpus callosum is the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres of our brain and facilitates communication between them. I divided the ensemble to become the left hemisphere, associated with a scientifically orientated knowledge of the world, and the right hemisphere, associated with an artistically orientated interpretation of the world. Just as the brain’s right and left hemispheres work together and are highly connected, the Corpus Callosum composition develops as a dialogue between these two realms.
The composition uses musical materials taken from Beethoven’s 7th symphony and brain scanning data, taken from my own brain while I listened to Beethoven's symphony in an fMRI scanner. The performance is accompanied by a movie by Norwegian video artist Ellen Roed representating the musical dialogue between the brain's left and right hemispheres.
Corpus Callosum involved the assistance of a number of partners in the USA, France and Norway. The brain scans were taken at New York University with the assistance of Zoran Josipovic and Dan Lloyd. Software for computer-aided composition was developed with Duncan Williams at ICCMR in Plymouth and Anders Vinjar at NOTAM (Norwegian Centre for Technology in Music and the Arts) in Oslo, with support from PNEK (Production Network for Electronic Art, Norway). Software for converting brain scans into music was developed with Philippe Esling at IRCAM (Institute for Research in Acoustics and Music) in Paris.
In the run-up for the premiere at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2015, I wrote an article for Gramophone, discussing the piece in more detail. (Click on the icon below to read the article.)
Sounds from Underground
prepared piano and string quartet (3 cellos and 1 contrabass)
"... there was a discernible sense of form and structure within each of its three contrasting movements, as well as perceptible cohesion between them – something which any successful piece of classical music should similarly aspire to." (Seen and Heard International, 10-Feb-14)
Sounds from Underground is a new piece, which emerged as a collaboration with pianist Luciane Cardassi, during a residency at Banff Centre, Canada, in 2013, partially supported by a grant from Plymouth University.
I created a unique sonic vocabulary for this piece by exploring unusual ways of playing the instruments.
Whereas some notes of the piano are muffled with earplugs inserted between the strings inside the instrument, other notes are played by means of magnetic resonators.
I teamed up with American engineer and composer Andrew McPherson (the inventor of Magnetic Resonator Piano) to build an array of computer-controlled electromagnets that are placed inside of the piano to vibrate the strings. The electromagnets vibrate the strings of the piano independently of the hammers, affording new and yet beautiful sonorities on the piano, all controlled during the performance via a bespoke piece of software. Click on the photo below to watch short documentary on this work.
In the run-up for the concert at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in February 2014, I delievered a lecture at IRCAM, Paris, and talked to a cool online magazine called Imperica.
Sound to Sea
orchestra, percussion, organ, choir and mezzo-soprano
Sound to Sea was premiered by Ten Tors Orchestra under the baton of Simon Ible - to whom the piece was dedicated - and phenomenal mezzo-soprano Juliette Pochin, at St Andrew's Minster, Plymouth, on Saturday 22 Sept 2012. Sound to Sea is a major symphonic choral work in 4 movements and 3 intermezzi, which revisits the magnificent British choral tradition that emerged in the late 19th Century, from a 21st Century postmodernist outlook.
A review in the esteemed Seen and Heard International website is available [ here ].
In the run-up for the concert, I spoke to Evan Davis on Today, BBC Radio 4's most popular programme and reaches an average of six million listeners every week.
I am particularly pleased with the unprecedented method that I developed to compose the 2nd movement, Raster Plot. I composed this movement entirely with rhythms generated by a computer simulation of a network of interconnected neurones that simulates the way in which our brain encodes information. In a nutshell, each instrument of the orchestra corresponds to a neurone. The dots on the graphs below (on the right hand side) correspond to neural activity and each dot is rendered as a musical note. Scientists refer to these graphs as "raster plots".
Below is an excerpt of Raster Plot. This is an unedited amateur stereo recording. A professional recording of the entire symphony will be released on a CD shortly.
No Flash? Then click here.
orchestra, percussion and electroacoustics
A few years ago John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York granted me a Fellowship in composition to conduct research into phonology, computational modelling of the human voice and evolution of music. One important outcome of this work is the piece Sacra Conversazione, for strings orchestra, percussion and electronics (and versions for other formations), in which surreal voices sing in a "global" synthesized language combining utterances from seventeen different languages from all over the world (German, Japanese, Hebrew, English, Spanish, Arabic, Persian and so on) and other "impossible" vocal sounds (e.g., by artificially enlarging the vocal tract to gigantic size). Below is a movie with excerpts from the premiere by Ten Tors Orchestra (Simon Ible, conductor) at the 2008 Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, in Plymouth.
In June 2011 a new version of Sacra Conversazione was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra (Charles Hazlewood, conductor) at the Sount Bank Centre, London, as part of the Electronica III series presented by Jarvis Cocker.
An edited recording of the concert has been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/
In the run-up for the concert, the journal Nature published a Q&A session by Philip Ball on the composition and what music can tell us about speech, physiology and cognition. (Click on the image below for a PDF copy.) A longer version of the interview is available from Philip's blog Homunculus.
orchestra, percussion and prepared piano
Mind Pieces, a symphonic composition in five movements for prepared piano, orchestra and percussion, which was premiered by the Ten Tors Orchestra (Simon Ible, conductor) in February 2011, at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Mind Pieces explores the notion of ear-worm. It is inspired by the phenomenon of memory retrieval by the brain and how our memory frequently distorts information. This composition uses musical materials generated with A-life simulations (or Artificial Life), models of the way in which information travels through networks of neurons in the brain, bird songs, Villa Lobos-inspired rhythms and orchestration inspired by Holst’s Jupiter and Ravel's Bolero. Below is a movie with excerpts from the premiere.
"The basis for each movement was an “ear-worm”: a familiar fragment of rhythm, melody or texture briefly recalled (we heard bits of Villa-Lobos, Holst, Ravel) and then reprocessed into something else. Behind the music lay some no doubt complex thinking about the tension between the persistence and fallibility of memory. But as heard, it was perfectly straightforward, tuneful, tonal, unexceptionably pleasing ..." (Michael White, The Telegraph)
"...mix full of fascinating sonorities and timbres ..." (Philip Buttall, The Herald)
An interview to on my work on music through A-Life simulations was featured in the programme So klingen Cyborgs. (You may click on the orage Deutschlandradio Kultur icon to access it.)
piano and electroacoustics
Mozart Reloaded, is a piece for piano and electronics in 3 movements, which I composed for the BBC Concert Orchestra's Mozart Mash-up project, featured as part of BBC Radio 3's "The Genius of Mozart" season in January 2011. The piece is dedicated to pianist Luciane Cardassi, who premiered it at Banff Centre, Canada. (Go to the BBC CO website - link above - to listen to the piece.)
Cardassi's recording, the score and an essay on the compositional process and thinking behind the piecehas just been released by Sargasso.
Those accessing my website from outside the UK might not be able to play the music from the BBC website. Below is Hip-Hopped, the third movement.
No Flash? Then click here
string octet and the Soundwall
I composed Waggle Dance for London's Science Museum. It was commissioned by Lottolab Studio and it was first performed by Heritage Orchestra (Anthony Weeden, conductor) during a Lates event, which took place at the museum on 27 July 2011.
The piece is for string octet and the Soundwall. The Soundwall is an extraordinary immersive musical instrument which is being developed with Prof Beau Lotto, at Lottolab Studio.
During the performance, the live sounds of the strings are relayed to the soundwall placed at a distance, creating a secondary performance/concert space. The audience can move from one space to another during the performance if they wish.
The buzzing sounds of the strings dance on the wall like bees in search of pollen. Click on the photos below to watch a short documentary on the premiere.
flute, clarinet, piano, violin, violoncello, electroacoustics (6 channels) and visual projection
Die Lebensfreude was commissioned by Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble and was premiered in Cascais, Portugal on 01 June 2012, conducted by Guillaume Bourgogne. The piece is inspired by a painting by Max Ernst, Die Lebensfreude (The Joy of Life), which is a twist on a painting by Matisse with the same name. In contrast to the joyous nature of Matisse’s painting, Ernst spreads entangled leaves and tendrils across the picture and populates it with praying mantises. The composition draws from my research into rendering the behaviour of an amoeba-like slime mould called Physarum polycephalum into sound. The piece has two parts:
I - Machina Vita
II - Machina est finitum
A paper detailing the simulation and the sonification method has been published in Journal of Bionic Engineering.
My rearch into making music using unconventional biocomputers is featured in an article entitled "Hier musizieren Schleimpilze" published by ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. The work has recently been in the news in Russia and in the USA as well. (You may click on the icons below to access them.)