Sonified Body

research into AI, sound and movement

Sonified Body is a research project using AI to create an instrument that transforms the moving body into sound in real-time, created by Tim Murray-Browne in collaboration with Panagiotis Tigas.

Our aim is to create a system that responds holistically and continuously to movements of the body in a way that feels intuitive. Just like it can be easier to walk than to explain how you walk, this intuition may happen at a level of thinking before conscious reasoning.

Rather than designing a system for someone to learn how to move to interact with it, we are instead using AI to generate a bespoke movement language out of how someone already moves, starting with me (Tim). We use machine learning to analyse many hours of recordings of me creatively moving in the studio. The model then learns to identify the essential qualities of my movement. This emergent movement language that emerges is the common ground between what the system can see of me and my existing vocabulary of movements.

In phase 1 (up to Feb 2021), we are using these movements to generate sound by mapping the outputs from the model to software instruments in Ableton Live, using onset detection to trigger note events.

Having built a language around my own movements, we then invited three dancers from different movement backgrounds to explore the movement space defined by my movements. We’re thinking of this as what we might describe as choreographic xenolinguistics: helping us to understand this idiosyncratic movement interface through the embodied intuitions of a dancer. In these dancer labs, we were also interested to observe how the dancers’ movements changed in response to the system.


This is a live project. Join the mailing list for further updates.


  • 6 Feb 2021, Present Futures Festival, Online/Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow


  • T. Murray-Browne and P. Tigas, “Emergent Interfaces: Vague, Complex, Bespoke and Embodied Interaction between Humans and Computers,” Applied Sciences, 11(18): 8531, 2021. pdf
  • T. Murray-Browne and P. Tigas, “Latent Mappings: Generating Open-Ended Expressive Mappings Using Variational Autoencoders,” In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 2021. text


Sonified Body was created by Tim Murray-Browne and Panagiotis Tigas.

During our R+D residency we worked with the dancers Adilso Machado, Divine Tasinda and Catriona Robertson.

Mentored by Ghislaine Boddington (body>data>space). Produced by Feral.


Sonified Body was funded by Creative Scotland and Present Futures festival with support from Preverbal Studio. With thanks to Susanna Eastburn, Adriana Minu and Roy Brockington.