Bioengineering has given new life to the metaphor that modular synthesizers are the musical equivalent to the human brain. Introducing cellF, the “world’s first neural synthesizer”. Developed by Guy Ben-Ary after years of research, cellF uses stem cells to grow organic neural networks in a petri dish, almost like an external brain. This “brain” is extremely sensitive and displays the type of neurological plasticity that makes it extremely responsive to stimulae from musicians. The information is then sent to an analogue modular synthesizer that plays through 16 speakers that the musician can respond to.
The whole thing creates a unique harmony between the external brain, the modular synthesizer and the musician. Or, to paraphrase Ben-Ary, it’s a completely new kind of cybernetic musician, like a rock star in a petri dish.