Birth of Creation


The Birth of Creation is a unique concert/performance experience that ties together neuroscience, music, technology and visual art.

It is a conceptual journey inspired by research on the cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying spontaneous creativity, improvisation, and synchronization between creators.

The Setup

The performance showcases two pianists, Orazio Sciortino and Richard Rentsch who sit facing one another in front of two interlaced grand pianos. The performance begins by collecting a short series of notes from the audience, at random. These notes are used as a starting point to create a spontaneous, improvised composition. While the pianists play, neuroscientist-musician Dr. Nathaniel Evans records various neurophysiological signals from the musicians, including electrical brain activity, heart activity, respiration, and head movements. In collaboration with the BigMap visual collective, these signals are transformed into visuals and are projected above the pianists for the audience to see. The three projections represent the individual activity of the two pianists, as well as a shared space that highlights moments of fusion and synchrony between the brains of the two pianists.

Two Pianists


This mixed-media performance piece extends the metaphor that the creation is born in an enigmatic void. Our moment-by-moment actions are guided by our past experiences, our present environment, our social interactions, and our mysterious ability to surprise ourselves by reformulating these elements. Our lives, our compositions, are constantly unfolding via creation. Social interaction leads us to unpredictable outcomes that could have not existed in the individual, rather, only by synchronized collaboration. This fully improvised composition, combined with a conceptual, visual representation of the internal physiological states of the pianists that highlights their interpersonal synchronization, makes a poignant and intriguing artistic statement as well as a captivating, unique, and un-repeatable experience for audiences.


The Team

Dr. Nathaniel Evans

Neuroscientist, technical lead, and project management

Richard Rentsch

Composer, pianist, project management & bookings

Orazio Sciortino

Pianist, composer

BigMap Collective

Visuals and performance aesthetics


Performances & Press

TEDxCERN: Ripples of Curiosity
Creativity and the Unconscious - Improvisation Symposium, l'Abri Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland

Dom Perignon: “Power of Creation” – Dolder Hotel, Zürich, Switzerland
MUSICA: EuroNews documentary – Haute École de Musique - Geneva, Switzerland

KAUST: Music/Science Symposium – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Montreux Jazz Festival: Petit Palais Workshop - Montreux, Switzerland
Pictet Bank Private Event - Force Motrice - Geneva, Switzerland

Brain & Music Event - Swiss Institute - Rome, Italy

EPFL Life Science Inauguration – EPFL - Lausanne, Switzerland

6th FENS (Federation of European Neurosciences) Forum - Palexpo - Geneva, Switzerland


2014 – MUSICA:EuroNews documentary - “All in the mind: musical and scientific quest to understand improvisation”
2012 – Montreux Jazz Festival – Radio Show
2012 – Verbier Classical Music Festival – Radio Show

Performances in collaboration with


Interested in working with us? Contact us at: info [AT]