I sit and worry about her

Author: Jasna Jovićević


-Mentor in the field of biomedical engineering: Milica Janković

-Music collaborator / sound design: Bojan Bojić

-Science collaborators: Jelena Ćertić, Nebojša Malešević, students of the BioMedical Instrumentation and Technology (BMIT) Lab

“I sit and worry about her” is a musical improvisation experiment, a spontaneous interaction fluid process which, through a transdisciplinary approach, and the help of neuroscience, technology and social engagement, explores an authentic artistic expression.

The author, after the “Flow Vertical” project, where she used the biofeedback system as inspiration for the new method of composing, has begun a new research, which requires EEG tools monitoring, as a crucial element for structuring music events. The working concept resembles an incessant and endless worry of mother for her daughter, presented auto-ethnographically by the author through the sonification of brain waves, a constant improvised caring song. A several months long research and the work development is realised in collaboration with experts from The School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, and a music producer, and financed by the Center for the Promotion of Science.

During this collaborative event, 4 mothers sit on the scene, facing the author. They are subjected to the immediate brain waves analysis through the EEG monitoring, which measures in real time their stress reactions to audio content played by the artist during the performance, offering an in advance composed sound diagram as the frame for the improvised composition. The diagram provoques thoughts and emotions related to their personal relationship with their daughters. The generated signals of the brain waves, which they produce, are sonified by the software modulation, producing sounds characteristic of certain brain thought frequencies (beta, alfa, and theta waves). 

Acquired sound signals are being heard in the performative space, thus instigating an interactive communication. With the acoustic instruments, the artist responds to the sonified reactions through an immediate improvisation, that makes unpredictable sonic content from the EEG tool manipulated once again. Perpetual modification and mutual communication through the sound effects, that activates new possibilities in the sonic game among the participants, becomes a self-making musical piece. The process of immediate composing is woven out of the live and dead elements, instrumental music, closeness, truthfulness, caring, love, fear and courage, putting human body in the role of the mediator, creating a new artistic expression and musical fantasies.