NeuroTechnica: Angie C, Jacqui Lewis, Kent Brockman, and Ksenia Nadkina

Musethereal is a brainwave controlled LED dress designed to show the interrelation between music and consciousness, created to bring awareness to the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and neuroCAM research.

Musethereal allows us to visualize how brain activity changes during a live musical performance. The design is inspired by the Neuron, which is the basic cell of the human brain & nervous system.

Musethereal was created in part to bring awareness to the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and neuroCAM research (Neuroscience + Complimentary and Alternative Modalities). The Branch Out Neurological Foundation is a Calgary-based charity that exists to help mitigate and eliminate the 600+ diseases of the nervous system that affect nearly 20% of the world’s population. For more information or to make a donation, please head on over to their website at

Technical Information

Brain-mapped Chest Emblem (“Cell Body”)
This is the real meat and potatoes of the dress. Data collected from 13 of the sensors on the Emotiv EPOC+ EEG headset is collected and processed via a special app on a Nexus android phone. The app calculates the power of 5 frequency bands at each sensor (ie each location on the brain). The frequency bands collected are Theta (4-7 Hz), Alpha (7-14 Hz), Low Beta (15 – 27 Hz), High Beta (28 – 40 Hz), and Gamma (40-100 Hz). The app determines which frequency band is dominant at any given time for each sensor and determines which colour the corresponding LED light should be based on the following colour code:

Dominant Frequency Band:
Theta = Purple
Alpha = Blue
Low Beta – Green
High Beta = Yellow
Gamma = Red

This information is then pushed to the Teensy 3.2, which is used to control the fade between colours for each sensor/LED light pairing.

The LED lights are housed within special 3D printed light diffusers that have been printed directly into the fabric of the dress. The LED lights are brain-mapped, such that the LED lights in the top half of the chest emblem are linked to the frontal and temporal cortex sensors, while the LED lights in the bottom half of the emblem are linked to the parietal and occipital cortex sensors. So it is literally like you are looking directly at the human brain.

Chasing LED Lights on Arms (“Dendrites”)
Since the design of the dress is inspired by the Neuron, the LED light strands on the arms are meant to represent electrical impulses coming into the Cell Body. To accomplish this, we used an accelerometer paired with an Arduino Trinket for each arm and used the directional data (X,Y,Z axis) to trigger the chasing sequence of the LED lights strands. Each arm had 3 LED light strands, with each being linked to a particular axis of movement (X, Y or Z). Therefore, when the arms are moved in various directions, light shoots up the arms and into Cell Body of the dress.

Chase and Burst LED Lights on Skirt (“Synapses”)
The skirt of the dress represents the synapses and connections to other cells in the neural network. Four strands of LED lights are controlled by an Arduino Trinket to run a chasing sequence down each strand and then complete a bursting action as it reaches the next cell formation.

The Team

Angie C – Maestro Designa (Designer/Neuroscientist/Musician)

Jacqui Lewis – Thread Head (Fabric & Materialization)

Kent Brockman – Technical Chef (Systems Engineer)

Ksenia Nadkina – Technical Sous-Chef (Electrical Engineer & Developer)

Angie C is a Calgary based neuroscientist, designer, producer, and songwriter who has a passion for fusing art and technology. With time, she plans to do more projects involving the brain and music, and to consider the potential therapeutic and medical applications of sound.

For regular updates and news, follow Angie C online at:

Official Website | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Twitter

Kent Brockman is a Calgary based engineer, software developer, musician and all around geek.  He graduated with a degree in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo and currently works at an environmental engineering firm.

Follow Kent online at:

Github | Twitter | YouTube

Ksenia Nadkina is a Calgary based engineer who is passionate about education, the environment, science and technology. She currently works in the area of industrial automation and is very active with the non-profit organization Girls Learning Code.

Follow Ksenia online at:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Video: Paul Spenard

On The Runway

Musethereal | Designers: Angie Coombes | Model and Singer: Angie C  | Hair: Natasha and Jason Mellor-Love Hair By J | Makeup: Vjosa Asani

Musethereal | Designers: Angie Coombes | Model and Singer: Angie C  | Hair: Natasha and Jason Mellor-Love Hair By J | Makeup: Vjosa Asani

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