Violinist Rosemary Johnson has made history by making music using mind read technology. It sounds hard to believe, but it’s true. Johnson who had given up on music for 27 years following a disturbing car crash incident made a surprising comeback.
Johnson was the member of ‘Welsh National Opera Orchestra’. She was a very talented girl who had dreams of becoming a top level musician. However, a black day in the year 1988 transformed her life in a way which Johnson might have imagined only in her nightmare.
The car accident of 1988, left her in the coma for seven months. She suffered a devastating head injury which snatched her ability of speech and movement. This ultimately made Johnson unable to pick chords. But after 27 years, Johnson is back in action with the help of cutting edge technology. We didn’t mean she regained her ability of movement or speech, but she is creating music again with the power of her mind.
Rosemary Johnson when she was 17 years old
Johnson’s brain has been attached to a computer with the help of wires using Brain-Computer Music Interfacing software. The BCMI software is a surprising 10-year project done by the Plymouth University and the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London.
Rosemary Johnson in her good old days
If you are thinking how things work, then here’s your answer. The software works by focusing on different colored lights on a computer screen. Johnson can alter a composition by selecting notes and phrases to be played just like a live musician does. The masterpiece’s speed and volume can be changed by the intensity of her mental focus.
Professor Eduardo Miranda, Composer and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University, revealed that the moment was really moving. When the team tried it for the first time with Johnson, everyone was in tears.
“We could feel the joy coming from her at being able to make music. It was perfect because she can read music very well and make a very informed choice. The great achievement of this project is that it is possible to perform music without being able to actually move. She is essentially controlling another musician to play it for her”
Composing music using brain waves
It’s really amazing to see how the advancement of technology is being an aid to differently able and handicapped people. It is a moment of joy for all of us as we will get to hear Rosemary Johnson’s composition once again.