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)

Xth Sense - Enhanced musical bodies @ Pure Data Convention 2011

Mon Aug 08, 2011 09:00 - Sun Aug 14, 2011

Weimar, Germany

Dear all,
here a brief update and cordial invitation.If you are around, feel free to drop me a line!
__8th August / 13.00-17.30 
Xth Sense: Biophysical Music @ Pure Data Convention,_Biophysical_Music

__9th August / 9.30
PAPER: A Pd framework for the Xth Sense: enabling computers to sense human kinetic behaviour

__21.30 CONCERT: Music for Flesh II
Complete schedule of the event

Best wishes,


Xth Sense - workshop biophysical generation and control of music - London

Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:00 - Sat Aug 20, 2011

London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Xth Sense – biophysical generation and control of music.
Hands-on training in augmentation of the body for musical performance. Creating your own low cost biosensing wearable device for muscle sounds.
See an Xth Sense performance at
Xth Sense:
~ What
The workshop offers an hands-on experience and both theoretical and practical training in gestural control of music and bodily musical performance, deploying the brand-new biosensing technology Xth Sense.
Developed by the workshop teacher Marco Donnarumma within a research project at The University of Edinburgh, Xth Sense is a framework for the application of muscle sounds to the biophysical generation and control of music.It consists of a low cost, DIY biosensing wearable device and an Open Source based software for capture, analysis and audio processing of biological sounds of the body (Pure Data-based).Muscle sounds are captured in real time and used both as sonic source material and control values for sound effects, enabling the performer to control music simply with his body and kinetic energy.Forget your mice, MIDI controllers, you will not even need to look at your laptop anymore.
The Xth Sense biosensor was designed to be easily implemented by anyone, no previous experience in electronics is required.The applications of the Xth Sense technology are manifold: from complex gestural control of samples and audio synthesis, through biophysical generation of music and sounds, to kinetic control of real time digital processing of traditional musical instruments, and more.
~ How
Firstly, participants will be introduced to the Xth Sense Technology by its author and led through the assembling of their own biosensing wearable hardware using the materials provided.Next, they will become proficient with the Xth Sense software framework: all the features of the framework will be unleashed through practical exercises.Theoretical background on the state of art of gestural control of music and new musical instruments will be developed by means of an audiovisual review and participatory critical analysis of relevant projects selected by the instructor.
At the end of the workshop, participants will be free to keep the Xth Sense biosensors they built and the related software for their own use.
~ Perspective participants
The workshop is open to anyone passionate about sound and music. No previous experience in electronics or programming is required, however participants should be familiar with digital music creation. Musical background and education does not matter as long as you are ready to challenge your usual perspective on musical performance.
Composers, producers, sound designers, musicians, field recordists are all welcome to join our team for an innovative and highly creative experience.Participation is limited to 8 candidates.
~ Requirements and further info
Participants need to provide their own headphones, external soundcards and laptops with Pd-extended already installed.
Free download is available at
We will work either on Linux or Mac OSX => 10.6 operating systems.
If you don't have access to none of them, please download a live distribution of Pure:Dyne at:
Musicians interested in augmenting their favourite musical instrument by means of body gestures are encouraged to bring their instrument along.
~ Dates
17-18-19-20 August, 11.00-19.00 daily (6 hours sessions + 1 hour break)nnnnn, Unit 73a, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London, E2 4QN
~ Fee
£ 80 including materials.
To reserve a place please contact and and you can pay online here:​hp?id=xth_sense&#fee_and_b​ooking


Making music with muscles - Interview on Weave Interaction Design

Wed Jun 01, 2011 00:55 - Thu Jun 30, 2011

Marco Donnarumma interviewed for a printed issue of Weave, a German interaction design magazine.
The article is about the Xth Sense framework (; the author's idea of a biophysical music, its development, etc...
Some issues about technology and interactivity were raised at some point.
Here's the full interview (in English).
Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting, if you wish.


Raw/Roar - Intermedia dance piece for enhanced bodies - DK

Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:00 - Sun Jun 05, 2011

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance Supported by The Danish Arts Council and Augustinus Fonden presents:
::::::: Host Guest Ghost, final event ::::::::
Sunday 5th June11.00 hDansehallerne, Copenhagen, DK.
HGG is a series of artistic residencies. 
The project aim at fostering experimental approaches to dance, theatre and interactive technologies while forming emerging, talented choreographers and creatives.
HGG #2 was directed by new media and sonic artist, performer and teacher Marco Donnarumma. Together with a team of 6 dancers, 3 musicians and a professional chef, they developed a new intermedia piece titled "Raw/Roar".
The piece will unveil a peculiar, unique world of enhanced bodies, biophysical sound, augmented music and reactive videos.
Among the different media and technologies explored during the residency, the main focus was set on the open source-based Xth Sense, developed by Marco Donnarumma.
Xth Sense is a set biophysical sensors which augment human body by transducing kinetic energy in sound, music and control data for variable media.
Project info:
Xth Sense:
Director's portfolio:


Marco Donnarumma Augmented Media Performance @ WRO Biennale 13th May

Fri May 13, 2011 19:00 - Fri May 13, 2011

Wroclaw, Poland

I Cntrl Nature | Audiovisual concert for augmented electric bass guitar, self-designed software and butterfly
I Cntrl Nature (Marco Donnarumma, 2009) is an unambiguous, synesthetic action of audiovisual improvisation.The live act represents the sarcastic celebration of the human instinct finally able to govern the nature. The improvised body gestures of the performer sculpt in real-time the soundscape and the moving images. The living creature on the screen reacts to the movements of the performer on stage in a mutual agreement and attraction.
Work info:
Author info:
The WRO Biennal is the leading international forum for new media art in Poland and Central Europe.
Other artists performing at WRO2011:
Stelarc, Istvan Kantor, Incite, Noriko Yamaguchi, Cécile Babiole.
Other upcoming events