Marco Donnarumma
Since 2009
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.
Discussions (2) Opportunities (7) Events (40) Jobs (0)

DMT - a trio of biophysical music, augmented drums, hacked smartphones at ISEA2012, ABQ, NM

Sun Sep 23, 2012 18:00 - Sun Sep 23, 2012

Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States of America

Dear all,

we are thrilled to invite you to this upcoming concert at ISEA 2012: Wilderness, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For the first time together on stage Adam Parkinson (stepping in for Atau Tanaka, who sadly couldn't join us),
Christos Michalakos, and myself Marco Donnarumma will present DMT.

DMT is the brand-new collaborative project by Donnarumma, Michalakos, and Tanaka.
DMT brings together the Xth Sense biophysical music, an augmented drum kit, and hacked smartphones for a wall of visceral and pulsing music.

Tomorrow, Sunday 23rd September, 2012
from 6pm to 8pm

The Box performance space
100 Gold Ave. SW -, Ste. 112B,
Albuquerque, NM 87102


Hope to see you there,
give us a shout if you plan to come,
best wishes,


Sound, flesh, openness, and biotech in Europe, US, and Brazil

Fri Sep 14, 2012 15:40 - Sun Dec 09, 2012


here's my 6-monthly mailout.
It includes a selection of what happened recently and what's coming up in the next months.

You'll find more info about:
- New Xth Sense project finalist at European Competition for Live Electronic Music
- Music for Flesh II, biophysical music at ISEA, New Mexico, US
- Biotechnological Performance Practice, a new publication out now
- Upcoming sonic body concerts in UK, Slovenia, Ireland, Hungary, and Brazil.
- Xth Sense biophysical tech schematic released, and user's forum now on-line
- On the press: Reuters, Create Digital Music, and Digicult features.

thanks for reading,
best wishes,


eContact! 14.2 -- Biotech. Performance Practice / Pratiques de performance

Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:45 - Fri Aug 31, 2012

Dear all,

it's with great pleasure that I announce the release of the latest issue of the journal eContact!.
This issue, for which I've been Guest Editor, concentrates on Biotechnological Performance Practice.

Probably some of the author's name will sound familiar to you.
Thanks to all the contributors for bringing together a wonderful (and long-needed) collection of texts exploring 40 years of practice in this field.

W/ Erich Berger, William Brent, Andrew Brouse, Corrado Cescon, yours truly, Cota Navin Gupta, Peter Kirn, R. Benjamin Knapp, Kiel Long, Pedro Lopes, Eric Lyon, Jaime E. Oliver, Miguel Ortiz, Gascia Ouzounian, Ramaswamy Palanappian, Claudia Robles, STELARC, Joe Stevens, Atau Tanaka, Valery Vermeulen, Peter Votava.

best wishes,


PRESS RELEASE -- for immediate diffusion / pour diffusion immédiate
Please forward at large.

Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
(CEC) Canadian Electroacoustic Community

eContact! 14.2 -- Biotechnological Performance Practice /
Pratiques de performance biotechnologique
Guest Editor / Rédacteur invité: Marco Donnarumma

[E] Biological technologies are computational systems driven by physiological and corporeal processes of the body. Endogenous mechanisms that would otherwise be imperceptible become manifest in the form of data. The field of biotechnological music performance is presented here through a set of fascinating articles describing heterogeneous methodologies and idiosyncratic musical ideas. (July 2012)

[F] Les technologies biologiques sont des systèmes informatiques pilotés par des processus physiologiques et corporels. Des mécanismes endogènes autrement imperceptibles deviennent apparents, sous forme de données. Composé d'une série d'articles fascinants décrivant des méthodologies hétérogènes et des idées musicales idiosyncrasiques, ce numéro est une introduction au domaine de la performance musicale biotechnologique. (juillet 2012)


Music for Flesh and Xth Sense Biophysical Open Hardware, FILE festival Sao Paulo

Thu Jul 19, 2012 20:30 - Fri Jul 20, 2012

Sao Paulo, Brazil

(sorry for x-post)

a cordial invitation.

FILE Festival presents a concert for Biophysical Music and a workshop on the Xth Sense in Sao Paulo with Marco Donnarumma.
FILE online:

~~ Concert
19th July
H. 20.40
Teatro SESI-SP, Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo.

- Music for Flesh II
- Nascent

Two diverse works in which the performer's muscular fibres produces sounds that resonate the audience tympanic membrane.
Biophysical music is a term I coined to define sound that is a direct result of joint biological and physical body mechanisms.


~~ Workshop
20th July
SESI-SP, Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo

- Xth Sense. Build your own biophysical open hardware, reclaim your body and let it sound.

The Xth Sense (XS) is a biophysical musical instrument. With the sound of your muscles you can produce music, and control any software applications.
The XS is free and open source, and it was named the “world’s most innovative new musical instrument” by the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology (US, 2012).
You can build your own with £10, hack it or modify it. No need of APIs and such. Just make it.

hope some of you can make it there tonight.
best wishes,


BodyControlled #4 - Bio Interfacing

Fri Jul 13, 2012 20:00 - Sun Jul 15, 2012

Berlin, Germany

BodyControlled #4 - Bio Interfacing

Opening: Friday, 13.07.2012, 20.00

Open Stage: 14.07.-15.07., 18-21.00

with Performances and Installations by
Marco Donnarumma (UK), Claudia Robles Angel (CO) and Peter Kirn (US)
Keynote by Pedro Lopes (PT, Hasso-Plattner-Institute, Potsdam)

BodyControlled #4 Facebook event:


It is not novel for multimedia performances to have a strong corporeal profile
primarily using gestures or actions coming from outside of the performer’s body.
However, the inside of the body can also be a very vital and diverse source
of material for artistic purposes. This approach changes the paradigm of the
gestural expression, bringing the processes going on under one’s skin to the fore.

BodyControlled #4 - Bio Interfacing presents three performances using data
collected from inside the human body: the EEG waves-based audio-visual performance
INsideOUT by Claudia Robles Angel, Seas of Tranquility by Peter Kirn and Marco
Donnarumma’s Music for Flesh II, where sounds are produced - and controlled - by his muscles.

A keynote presented by Hasso-Plattner-Institute’s investigator Pedro Lopes discusses
‘’Human-Computer Interaction: Artistic and Scientific perspectives on augmenting
our bodies’’. In conjunction with the events of the performance night, anyone can learn more
about the artists’ methods by taking part in the workshops presented by Claudia
Robles Angel and Marco Donnarumma. Or, come to LEAP in the 2 evenings after the
performance night, and try out the instruments on display at the Open Stage.


Side Programme

Exhibition: 14.07.-15.07., 18-21.00

Open Stage: 14.07.-15.07., 18-21.00

Workshop: 11.07. & 12.07., 15.-19.00


“MAX/JITTER for beginners”, presented by Claudia Robles Angel

Places are limited


Workshop: 14.07. & 15.07., 13-19.00

“Xth Sense: Biophysical Music”, presented by Marco Donnarumma

Places are limited