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BIORHYTHM: Music and the Body

World Science Festival presents the US debut of the exhibition BIORHYTHM: Music and the Body from Science Gallery Dublin.

Why does a minor chord sound sad? Is there a formula for the perfect hit? Whistling, dancing, finger-snapping, and toe-tapping—what makes us do it? Find out when music and science join forces in an interactive bazaar of beats, sounds, and rhythm in this new exhibition called BIORHYTHM. Learn what drives sound manipulation and discover how different types of music evoke different emotions. Trace the power of an impactful pop hook in a song, measuring the way our brains and bodies react, down to the responses in our fingertips.

BIORHYTHM runs through August 6 at Eyebeam in NYC; the exhibit is open Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 6 PM

Watch the video from the WSF opening weekend

BIORHYTHM, in collaboration with the World Science Festival, is made possible through the generous support of Imagine Ireland, an initiative of Culture Ireland, and the Cordover Family Foundation. BIORHYTHM is created by Science Gallery and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


  • Binaural Head

    Papermen [Ireland/UK] Our two ears enable us to detect the direction of sound, helping create spatial awareness in the world around us. Using a binaural head placed remotely from the visitor, spatial sounds are transmitted back to headphones, allowing the listener to have remote spatial awareness. More »
  • Sonic Bed

    Kaffe Matthews Sonic Bed is an instrument you play by lying and moving around in it. It is the central pin in "music for bodies" research and was awarded a Distinction in Digital Musics at Prix Ars Electronica. It is a sonic and social experiment exploring our perception of sound. Subtle, dynamic, at times beyond hearing, Sonic Bed plays music to feel rather than just listen to. More »
  • Klangkapsel

    Satoshi Morita [Japan] Music isn't always about hearing and listening; this installation is an experience that enables you to feel sound. Transducers pressed against your body deliver an 8-channel soundtrack throughout the capsule. The highly immersive nature of the piece takes you inside the artists body. More »
  • Something for the Girl Who Has Everything

    David handford [UK] Any gallery needs a chair, but beware of this one. This original 1920s chair has been reconstructed full of sonic charges. Manipulate the voltage-controlled oscillators on the control panel and you will physically experience the power of sound to your personal liking. The intensity is up to you. More »
  • Optofonica Capsule

    Maurizio Martinucci (aka TeZ ) This shell-like shape encapsulates you within an immersive audiovisual structure. While resonating in surround and tactile sound and delivering specially composed visuals to your eyes, low frequencies are fed through the floor converting sound into vibrations through your body. This installation by the Italian multimedia artist known as TeZ is not for the faint-hearted. More »
  • The Theremin Inspectors

    Sean McDonald & Alex Hornbake The Theremin Inspectors is a mixed-reality visualization experience that enables people to actually see the electromagnetic fields that they interact with every day. Using a theremin—an electronic instrument you play by moving your hands through open space rather than touching controls—the exhibit highlights how the human body can interact with electromagnetic energy to make music. More »
  • Music, Emotion, Empathy

    Niall Coghlan, Sonic Arts Research Centre Queens University, Belfast [UK] You are invited to measure your emotional reaction to music as a part of the an on-going experiment. Does your body like music that you thought you hated? Using heart-rate monitors and galvanic skin response, the experiment reads your physical response to a selection of music samples. More »
  • Heart ‘N’ Beat

    Yoshi Akai [Japan] "Punk science" meets Japanese innovation in this unique musical instrument that uses your own heart beat as the basis for a tune. Using your body as an electric circuit, the instrument takes your pulse and sonifies it. You can then add sound samples and play along to your own heart. More »
  • Reactable

    Reactable Systems [Netherlands] This is a collaborative, multi-user audio-visual experience. Sensors in a table and objects combine to create a sonic experience that is different every time a piece is moved. Created by the Music Technology Group at the University Of Pompeu Fabra, Spain, it allows the instrument to be played by simultaneous performers, opening a whole universe of musical possibilities. More »
  • Contacts

    Gregory Lasserre & Anais met den Ancxt [France] By making contact with the sculpture and others, visitors build up a soundscape that turns them into a musical instrument. This immersive sound tool, made by the sound artists Scenocosme, creates electrical circuits generated by the interaction of people. More »
  • Hear, Hear

    Papermen [Ireland/UK] You are able to hear due to the way your brain collects and processes the sound waves in the air. Physical motion is turned into chemical signals inside the ear that are sent to the brain. Percussive bones, rippling hairs and moving liquid. Hear, Hear—a collaboration between an artist and a scientist—has created this playful exploration of the world of human hearing. More »
  • Traffic

    Rachel O'Dwyer & Roberto Pugliese [Ireland, Italy] On entering the space, you have already participated in and contributed to an ever-changing soundscape. Triggers outside mapped your movement and turned it into sound. As the motion of people in the space ebbs and flows, the soundscape reacts, channeling it back into the space. More »
  • InstruMen

    Chaja Hertog in collaboration with Nir Nadler [Netherlands] This triptych is a work by the artist Chaja Hertog made in collaboration with Nir Nadler, and is recreated for the first time in New York City. The InstruMen perform a haunting musical experience created by their physical integration with the instruments they are playing. By slowly moving their bodies the performers build up a soundscape that would be impossible to recreate using conventional instruments. Prepare to be moved and disturbed by this powerful audiovisual work. More »
  • Body Snatcher

    Alex Dowling & Sinead Meaney [Ireland] Here's an opportunity to make your own music in the gallery. Sample yourself at the software station and get instant music feedback in the form of a personal dance tune. More »
  • Chains of Emotion

    Javier Jaimovich, Sonic Arts Research Centre Queens University, Belfast [UK] This is a highly participatory experience, urging visitors to form human chains to create a unique and ever-changing musical performance. Metal chains hanging in the gallery space invite visitors to form links in a musical chain. More »