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.
Discussions (2) Opportunities (7) Events (39) Jobs (0)

Workshop: Xth Sense Biophysical Music at NK Berlin

Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:00 - Fri Apr 08, 2011

Berlin, Germany

LAST CALL for Participation:
April 6, 7, 8 2011
Xth Sense – biophysical generation and control of music
Elsenstr. 52/
2.Hinterhaus Etage 2
12059 Berlin Neukölln
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.

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.
Eventually, participants will combine hardware and software to implement a solo or group performance to be presented during the closing event.
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. 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.

No previous experience in electronics or programming is required, however participants should be familiar with digital music creation. Participation is limited to 10 candidates.

Register by sending an email to

FULL PROGRAM available at…

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

Musicians interested in augmenting their favourite musical instrument by means of body gestures are encouraged to bring their instrument along.

More information and a video of the latest Xth Sense performance can be viewed on-line at

6-7-8 April, 11.00-19.00 daily (6 hours sessions + 1 hour break)

EUR 90 including materials (EUR 15).
Picture Courtesy by Chris Scott at


Xth Sense, Biophysical generation and control of music [at] Imagine Create Festival

Thu Mar 31, 2011 16:30 - Thu Mar 31, 2011

Derry, Ireland

/// Xth Sense.

The Xth Sense is a low cost, Open Source-based framework for the application of muscle sounds to the biophysical generation and control of music (or more generally for responsive milieux). 
The framework includes a low cost biosensing wearable device, and a modular DSP software (Pure Data-based) for real time capture, analysis and design with muscle sounds.
Marco Donnarumma will be reporting on the methods used during the research, present findings, issues, and perspective outcomes, while discussing the aesthetic criteria underpinning the research.

Further info and live performance reel:

Donnarumma is a performer, new media and sonic artist.
He's currently interested in critical analysis and development of experimental paradigms for embodied interaction in performative environments.

/// Among the other invited speakers: 
Ricky Graham (Ulster), Dennis Fischer (Ableton), Gregory Taylor (Cycling '74), Jeff Burke (UCLA), Alex Beim (Tangible Interaction), James Alliban (Augmatic), Katsuyuki Shibata (Fukuoka University).


/// About Imagine Create:
Imagine Create is a digital arts festival which brings together a leading-edge line-up of talents and minds from the worlds of art, design, new media and software development.
Expect five days of inspirational talks, demonstrations, panels, exhibits and performances delivered by the people and tools transforming digital culture.
The biennial event will take place at locations around the city of Derry~Londonderry and runs from 29 March to 2 April 2011.

For further information please visit the festival website


Non-Bio Boom Premiere - Musicircus for Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Tech

Tue Mar 15, 2011 19:00 - Tue Mar 15, 2011

Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Dear all,
I'm glad to inform you about this event.
At the moment I'm artist in residence at Inspace, Edinburgh, developing a site specific, multichannel and participatory work for 10 biosensing wearable devices (Xth Sense).

The piece will be premiered tomorrow Tuesday along with my other work for biosensing device Music for Flesh II; further info below.

Inspace is a laboratory that explores the cultural significance of informatics and new media practice.
Inspace is home to a joint research partnership between the School of Informatics and New Media Scotland.

Tuesday 15th March 2011, 7.30 for 8pm.
Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB

As a part of our Non-Bio Boom season we are delighted to host a new work development residency by Marco Donnarumma, with Brendan F Doyle (Production Sound Engineering). The residency will conclude with two concerts over the course of one evening for bio-sensing wearable technologies.

The first concert will include Music for Flesh II (, a new solo piece by Marco Donnarumma; the second concert will be the premiere of a multi-channel work specifically created by the artist for Inspace, which will actively involve the audience in an augmented Cagean Musicircus.

Admission free, but on-line booking is required:

Xth Sense is an ongoing research project which investigates experimental applications of Open Source based, bio-sensing technologies for musical performance and responsive milieux.
The Xth Sense software framework is implemented in Pure Data.
Further information:

Marco Donnarumma is a performer, new media and sonic artist currently interested in critical analysis and development of experimental paradigms for embodied interaction in performative environments.

Picture Courtesy of


Live Media Updates February 2011

Thanks everybody, your feedbacks are much appreciated.
And, yes indeed, there's so much happening and so much to explore!


Live Media Updates February 2011

Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:49 - Mon Feb 28, 2011 - New Media Art and Open Source Culture
Marco Donnarumma's blog around new media art, sound research, shared knowledge, and constructive criticism

Upcoming events: 

4-5 March, 2011
Pure Data mini-conference
- Solo sonic piece Music for Flesh I for augmented muscles sounds (Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Technology)
- Paper Presentation: “Xth Sense: Researching biological sounds of the body for an experimental paradigm of musical performance”
Marco Donnarumma
Department of Music, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

12-16 March, 2011
Inspace, Non-Bio Boom New Work Residency
- Development of a site specific, multi-channel participatory concert for Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Technology
Marco Donnarumma
Inspace, Informatics DPT University of Edinburgh and New Media Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

15 March, 2011
Inspace, Non-Bio Boom, Live Media 
- Solo sonic piece Music for Flesh I for augmented muscles sounds (Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Technology)
- Premiere of a new multi-channel, participatory Cagean Musicircus for Xth Sense Technology.
Marco Donnarumma
Inspace, Informatics DPT University of Edinburgh and New Media Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

9 April 2011
Expanded Video Performance
- Audiovisual concert I C::ntr::l Nature v.3.0 for augmented bass guitar and butterfly
Marco Donnarumma
CHB, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin

15-16 April, 2011
Netaudio LX, Lisbon
- 2 Days Workshop Pure Data for Live Media
- Invited speaker
Kuoyah concert for live electronics
Marco Donnarumma
Cinema S.Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal.

24 May to 6 June, 2011
Host Guest Ghost, Danish National School of Contemporary Dance 
- two weeks workshop in partnership with the Skolen for Moderne Dans (Danish National School of Contemporary Dance).
Training and formation of dance and music students to develop a live media piece for interactive dance.
Project will be developed around the Xth Sense biosensing wearable technology, in order to implement a biologically sensing and responsive environment controlled and excited by the performers in real time.
Public event and final presentation on 5th June.
Project leader: Marco Donnarumma with Jeannette Ginslov
Dansehallerne, Centre for Modern Dance, Copenhagen, Denmark

Past events:
- Talk "Pure Data and Hacktive Behaviours" @ Edinburgh Linux User Group, Scotland, UK
- Live impro sonification for Shu Lea Cheang and Martin Howse "UKI" @ Piksel Festival, Bergen, Norway
- Presentation "Golden Shield Music, a sonification of IT censorship techs" @ Piksel Festival, Bergen, Norway
For further information about workshops, contents, collaborations, commissions or critics feel free to drop me a line at:
info [at] thesaddj [dot] com
these are just excerpts, if it sounds interesting please visit
Some Autonomous Systems Short-listed at Screengrab New Media Art Award
31st October 2010
My recent works Golden Shield Music and The Invisible Suns Project were both short-listed at Screengrab New Media Art Award and they are currently being exhibited at eMerge Gallery, Townsville in Australia. The exhibition is organized by James Cook University, if you’d happen to be in the area the show runs until 18th November [...]

Call for Submissions - Linux Audio Conference, 2011, Ireland
2nd November 2010
Paper-submission, call-for-music and registration are now open for the Linux Audio Conference 2011 – May 6-8 2011, Maynooth, Ireland. As in previous years, we will have a full program of talks, workshops and music. The Linux Audio Conference 2011 will include several concerts. We are looking for music that has been produced or composed entirely or mostly using GNU/Linux [...]

Listen: High Spheres, Participatory Soundscape Concert @ Re-New Festival, 2010
2nd November 2010
I just uploaded an excerpt from 6 channels open air participatory soundscape concert “High Spheres” hosted at Re-new Festival, Copenhagen in May 2010. The concert – performed by the audience and managed by an autonomous responsive system developed in Pd – took place for the opening of the festival and last around [...]

libpd: An embeddable sound engine for Android, iOS, C, Java, and more
5th November 2010
libpd has reached a 0.1 release, enabling developers to use Pd as a sound engine in their applications. Out of the gate, we have extensive code samples for Android 1.5 and later, plus the basic tools to work on iOS (recent armv7 recommended for now, with other devices soon). In the near [...]

“Golden Shield Music” reviews on We Make Money Not Art and Wired
29th November 2010
While here in Edinburgh we are drowning in the snow, I thought I’d post a brief note about few reviews published in these days after my appearance at Piksel Festival (hopefully soon you’ll get also a report of the festival). A fantastic and accurate review of my talk at Piksel “Golden Shield Music: sonification of IT [...]

Undervine, data visualization + Pure Data sonification at SFMOMA, San Francisco
3rd December 2010
Hans Christoph Steiner just posted his latest collaborative project Undervine to the Pd-announce mailing list. Data sonification made in Pure Data. Below the original message by Hans. Working again with Bobby Pietrusko and Stewart Smith, I created sonification for visualization of data about the global wine industry. It opened [...]

Report: Piksel Festival, Bergen, Norway 2010
22nd December 2010
In November I had the great pleasure to take part in the Piksel Festival 2010. I presented the work Golden Shield Music, a sonification of IT censorship technologies during a talk focused on the current state of IT censorship techs. Piksel “is an international event for artists and developers working with Free/Libre and Open Source technologies in [...]

Pd inside: The Inception app
6th January 2011
via Pd announce list RjDj strikes the mainstream world once again… Next level: Inception The App with Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer and … RjDj. Over the last couple of months RjDj teamed up with film director Christopher Nolan and Composer Hans Zimmer and brought the concept of augmented sound to a whole new level. The first result of [...]

Thimbl – the anti-twitter and the Telekommunist Manifesto
28th January 2011
Original message from the Thimbl project team. Hello! It’s been a long time since I’ve sent out a email newsletter, hasn’t it? As some of you may know, I’ve gotten drawn into the world of social media, and have been hanging around in places like Facebook and Twitter. There are a few reasons for this, one, to [...]

3rd Pure Data Scots Users Meet Up, 4th February, Glasgow
2nd February 2011
Hi all, here a little reminder. On Friday 4th February we’ll be gathering for the 3rd Pure Data Scots User MeetUp. The meeting kicks off at 15.00 at the Electron room, CCA, Glasgow. Meeting is free, public and open to all practitioners, beginners, artists, programmers, musicians, passionates of digital arts and simply anybody who might be interested in spending [...]

LPM Rome IX Edition Call for Works
3rd February 2011
LPM 2011 ROME MINSK from LPM Live Performers Meeting on Vimeo. Ready to participate? The LPM registration form LPM is on-line. Hurry-up and send us your project! We are looking for live audiovisual performances, vj sets, interactive installations and workshops proposals from artists, practitioners, thinkers and makers involved in LIVE VIDEO. This year we aim at investigating and presenting [...]

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This document has been created on a Linux machine using free, open source software only.
Marco Donnarumma aka TheSAD
Independent New Media and Sonic Arts Professional, Performer, Instructor
ACE, Sound Design MSc by Research (ongoing)
The University of Edinburgh, UK
LAB: | |