In Western culture we consider the heart to be the site of certain feelings. This is shown in language, with phrases like ‘to empty one’s heart’, ‘to lose heart’, and ‘it comes from the heart’. The heartbeat also reflects the physical state of the body. It pumps heavily if the body is under physical tension, and when it starts to gallop this can indicate fear, stress or excitement. Slow beats show a state of relaxation or sleep. Through meditation or biofeedback techniques one can manipulate these bodily states. The heart is a vital organ and for some of us it is the very place of life itself - a container of a
metaphysical soul. The Heart Chamber Orchestra -HCO- takes this into account to form a structure where music literally ‘comes from the heart’.

HCO is an audiovisual performance. The orchestra consists of 12 classical musicians of the Trondheim Sinfonietta and the artist duo TERMINALBEACH. Using their heartbeats, the musicians control a computer composition and visualization environment. The musical score is generated in real time by the heartbeats of the musicians. They read and play this score from a computer screen placed in front of them. The duration of this piece in 4 movements is about one hour.
The musicians and artists are equipped with ECG(electrocardiogram) sensors. A computer monitors and analyzes the state of these 12 hearts in real time. The acquired information is used to compose a musical score with the aid of computer software. It is a living score dependent on the state of the hearts. While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. The musicians and the electronic composition are linked via the hearts in a circular motion, a feedback structure. The emerging music evolves entirely during the performance. The resulting music is the expression of this process and of an organism forming itself from the circular interplay of the individual musicians and the machine.

The concert at Trondheim Matchmaking is the debut performance of HCO.
The project was in 2003 initiated by Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre, and the centre is producing the concert.