Australian artist uses his own stem cells to create a synthesizer
In today’s electronic music scene, producers create tracks through various degrees of authenticity. Many rely on modulating and reformatting existing samples, while others digitally create their synths through VSTs, and some still utilize mechanical, analog technologies. Most listeners will fail to notice the difference between these variations in production, and realistically, the end justifies the means in terms of the final product. However, producers who go to painstaking lengths to create their sounds from scratch do deserve recognition for their efforts.
Following the notion of organically created musical synthesis, Australian artist Guy Ben-Ary takes the cake. Completely outside of the standard production paradigm, Ben-Ary utilized his own stem cells to create “the world’s first neural synthesizer.” According to FactMag:
“To create his biological self-portrait, Ben-Ary took a biopsy from his arm and used cutting-edge technology to transform the skin cells into stem cells, which he then turned into neural stem cells. This allowed him to build what he refers to as ‘the world’s first neural synthesizer.’”
Elaborating on how Ben-Ary’s “biological self-portrait” operates, FactMag reports:
“The machine works as follows: music is ‘fed into the neurons as electrical stimulations and the neurons respond by controlling the synthesiser, creating an improvised post-human sound piece.'”
Ben-Ary refers to his invention as “cellF.” The inner-workings of cellF are entirely detached from digital production:
” There is no programming involved, meaning cellF runs using only biological matter and analog circuits.”
To better comprehend what cellF is and how it operates, view the below diagrams and read Ben-Ary’s explanation of his project on his website.