Marco Donnarumma
Works in Edinburgh United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Italian-born Marco Donnarumma is a performer, musician and writer based in London. He explores the dimensions of the human body in relation to real, virtual and cultural spaces through performances, concerts and installations. In his works, sound, machines and biology are configured so to integrate human and technological bodies into new living instances. His practice is considered a conceptually elaborated combination of physical actions, intense sonic experiences and forceful sensorial stimulation.

Marco has performed and spoken in over 50 countries across North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. His works have been presented at leading art and music events (ISEA, Venice Biennale, Sónar+D, ISCM World Music Days), festivals (Transmediale, FILE, Panorama, NYEAF, Sound Art China, CYNETART, Piksel), museums, institutions and labs (Museo Reina Sofia, CaixaForum Madrid, STEIM, IRCAM, EMPAC, Stanford CCRMA).

An integral part of his practice is the creation and sharing of interactive biophysical instruments using free software and open hardware. Recently, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and Harvestworks (US), he co-founded XTH, a New York-based company making open source biotechnologies that use sound to enable different modes of expression.

He is the editor of Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2), a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and the performing arts. His writings have appeared in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press), in the book “New Art/Science Affinities” (CMU, Studio for Creative Enquiry), and several times in specialised conference proceedings, including CHI, NIME, ICMC, Pd Con, Linux Audio. Currently, as a PhD student at Goldsmiths London with Atau Tanaka and Matthew Fuller, he investigates how body theory can inform the design of combined biosensing and machine learning technologies for music and the performing arts.

Marco is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the first prize in the Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition (Georgia Tech, US, 2012) for the Xth Sense; the Transitio New Media Art Award (MX) for Nigredo, created with Marije Baalman; and fundings from European Commission, British Council, Creative Scotland, New Media Scotland, and the Danish Arts Council. He has received commissions from Festival Transmediale and the European Conference of Promoters of New Music, among the others, and has been an invited artist in residence at STEIM (NL), Inspace (UK), and the National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance (DK). His projects have been reviewed on BBC, Forbes, Reuters, ARTE.TV, Wired, RTVE, El Pais, ResonanceFM, Weave, Create Digital Music, We Make Money Not Art and Digicult.
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Neanderthal electronics meets Biophysical music - summer events in Estonia

Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:25 - Mon Aug 04, 2014


(sorry for possible x-post)

hope to find you well.

Here to inform you about this humble and exciting tour in Estonia that Derek Holzer and myself are starting today and the ways you can join us.

The tour includes an artistic residency in a remote spot, a one-day bus tour to play music in abandoned villages, and a double workshop on Soundboxes and Biophysical music performance.

Soundboxes homepage:
Xth Sense homepage:

\\\\\\\\\\\ Artistic Residency at MAAJAAM
Valgamaa, EE.

- The residency will serve to develop new writing towards the realisation of a new musical performance for body technologies to be premiered at Spectrum, NYC, this October.

MAAJAAM is a project space in an old farm in Estonian countryside where art meets technology. Substituting the urban environment with a hilly rural landscape allows us to observe technology in it’s pure form and analyze it’s connections to us and the nature.

\\\\\\\\\\\ Olematute kylade projekt / Project for Non-existent Villages
Võru, EE.

- One-day tour playing electro-acoustic and biophysical music across several abandoned villages in the Estonian countryside.

Expect some modular and visceral sounds resonating crackling walls:

Audience, curators and artists travel together on a bus throughout a whole day of sound, silence, ghost houses and unexpected acoustics. Those villages are considered as null pointers; those points existing on maps and in cultural memory but which have lost the objects being refered to. Participating artists excavate embedded meanings in these culturally changing environments and search for intersections of traditional and contemporary cultural practices.

Book a spot for on the bus for 1 Euro by emailing to

\\\\\\\\\\\ Soundboxes + Xth Sense workshops
Tallinn, EE.

Intensive two days crash course on building and making noise with the Soundboxes handmade electronics, and the Xth Sense biophysical wearable instrument.


STEIM Concert of Bodies Sat. 15 March, AMS

Sat Mar 15, 2014 20:00 - Sun Mar 16, 2014

Amsterdam, Netherlands

What your body can do? It can breathe, sweat, pulsate, bleed, cry, jump, walk and run, stay still, wait, think, feel and perceive, see, touch, smell, read, write and learn, communicate, surprise, seduce, entertain, love, die and become ashes.

Concert of Bodies brings before your eyes sounding bodies in all their physicality. Sonorous, invisible, imaginary, impalpable, yet physical, visceral, pulsating and alive bodies!

Join us for a night of music where sound materiality is caressed, touched, molded and torn only to escape the digital and reach out for your ears.

Line Up:

Marije Baalman (NL)
Erfan Abdi (IR/NL)
Marco Donnarumma (IT/UK)


DATE: 15th of March, 2014
TIME: 20:00
COST: €7,50 (Students with a student card get a €2,50 discount)
LOCATION: STEIM Concert Space, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam

Curated by Marco Donnarumma and STEIM


[NL] Xth Sense: make your own biowearable for interactive performance

Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:00 - Sun Mar 16, 2014

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This weekend course offers hands-on experience and theoretical training in the performance of biophysical music and visuals with the Xth Sense (XS). Workshop participants will build from scratch their own XS sensors, then learn how to analyze and map the data from their muscle and body movements to generate music, visuals, and do live processing of sound. Attention will also be paid to aesthetic considerations when using the XS system in artistic contexts.

At the end of the workshop, participants will take home the XS bioacoustic sensors they built, and the related software for their own continued creative use.

DATE: 15-16 MARCH, 2014
TIME: 10-17h each day
COST: €110 (includes €25 sensor kit & parts)
LOCATION: STEIM Concert Space, Utrechtsedwarsstraat 134, Amsterdam

More info:

The Xth Sense in action:

Some topics covered in the workshop include:

- Theoretical background on the state of art of gestural control of music
- Introduction to the Xth Sense (XS) framework (technical overview, capabilities)
- Building the wearable biosensor
- An introduction to the open source artistic programming language PureData, tips and tricks for using PureData in live settings
- Explorations of bioacoustic sound design capabilities
- Building audio modules and signal processing chains
- Aesthetics of bioacoustic sensor-based performance
- Mapping muscle energy to control values and real-time processing
- Designing an aesthetic vocabulary for body-sensor performance


Mediating physicality and the flesh - Mexico DF, Shanghai, Dresden, London

Fri Oct 18, 2013 16:05 - Sat Nov 30, 2013

Dear all,

here's my 6-monthly mailout October 2013.

View it at

You'll find more about:

- Nigredo wins second prize at TransitioMX 2013 New Media Art competition
- RPM Sound Art China: biophysical concert at Shanghai Biennial
- The Xth Sense: from the stage to the market
- Hypo Chrysos double performance at CYNETART Festival / Metabody Project
- DMT: Donnarumma, Tanaka, Michalakos new trio

Thanks for reading and sharing!
best wishes,


Biomediations, sound and body performance at TransitioMX, Mexico DF

Wed Sep 25, 2013 17:00 - Sat Sep 28, 2013

Mexico City, Mexico

25th September
Mexico City, h 17.00
Award ceremony + Biophysical music performance
CENART, Centro Nacional de Las Artes


Dear all,

my latest private installation work "Nigredo" (made with Linux, the Xth Sense and Pd), created this February during a residency at STEIM with Marije Baalman and other collaborators, has been nominated for the TransitioMX award.

In occasion of the award ceremony, tomorrow 25th September at the CENART in Mexico City, I'll be performing a 30 minutes concert for biophysical music, combining my earliest Xth Sense composition "Music for Flesh II" with "Ominous", the very latest music piece recently committed by the European Conference of Promoters of New Music.

The International Festival of New Media Art and Video Transitio_MX is the most important platform in Mexico for the expression and analysis of contemporary practices in artistic creation in electronic media and digital culture. It is a biennial festival that comprises three main activities: a symposium, an exhibition and a contest.

If you're around, be sure to come for this exciting event, and also to visit the related exhibition with national and international artworks drawing upon this year's theme of "Biomediations", with Artistic Director Dra. Joanna Zylinska.


hope to see some of you there,
best wishes,