Birth of Creation


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

It is a conceptual journey inspired by research on 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. We begin 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 visuals highlight 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. Interacting with others 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 makes a poignant and intriguing artistic statement as well as a captivating, 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

Les Surprises du Cerveau - Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Science & Beauty Event - The Dolder Grand - Zürich, Switzerland

MDRNTY Music Festival - Italy, Spain
Seminar: Improvise to Learn, Learn to Improvise - Haute École de Musique de Lausanne (HEMU) - Lausanne, Switzerland

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

Dom Perignon: “Power of Creation” – The Dolder Grand, 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


2018 – RTS - “Surprises du cerveau”
2018 – Journal de Sierre - “La creativité se manifeste dans le cerveau”
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

Special events with brands