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A scientific concert that went ‘Beyond the Melodies’

The CYENS Centre of Excellence earlier this summer presented a scientific concert entitled 'Beyond the Melodies: Interactive Technologies for the Promotion of Musician's Health'.

The concert was the result of the work carried out by the Neo-Move research group of CYENS.

Held in the Andreas Patsalides Hall of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia, the event offered a one-of-a-kind experience of interdisciplinary work in Cyprus and constituted a step toward social innovation.

The concert combined live music performance with a demonstration of interactive technology, utilising sensors and electrodes placed on the musician’s body, an announcement on the event noted. "The amazing Nikos Pittas on violin and Nikolas Melis on piano were accompanied by oral explanations from Dr. Christos Ioannou, a Marie S. Curie fellow, and the leader of the Neo-Move research group. Throughout the performance, the audience could see the processing of data on a large screen in real-time. This visualisation of the musician’s digital twin, along with a variety of musculoskeletal parameters derived from what the musician experienced while playing, left the audience in awe," the announcement continued.

The project’s clear objectives are the promotion of musicians’ health and addressing the various challenges of the specific profession. It also aims to highlight the contribution of the CYENS Centre of Excellence to the development of interactive health technologies through research and innovation, demonstrate the interactive biofeedback mirror developed through this project, and how it contributes to the prevention, diagnosis, and rehabilitation of healthy and affected musicians.

As Dr. Ioannou emphasised,We do not need a society either full of scientists or full of artists. The coexistence and especially the collaboration between both could contribute towards the development of a 'healthier', and innovative culture."

"Such events represent a proactive and creative response to societal challenges, aiming to create positive social change toward the improvement of the well-being of individuals. Through the implementation of new ideas and the establishment of interdisciplinary collaborations across sectors and disciplines, we leverage diverse expertise, resources, and perspectives to develop innovative solutions," the announcement on the event noted.

“More brains are much stronger than a single one, especially in cases where different fields are involved,” Dr. Ioannou also added.

The audience enjoyed a live musical performance featuring compositions by Camille Saint-Saëns, Costas Cacoyannis, Marios Takoushis, Manuel de Falla, Stavros Lantsias, George Karvellos, Niccolò Paganini, and Isaac Albéniz. At the same time, through the innovative interactive technologies developed at the CYENS Centre of Excellence, the audience had a unique opportunity to get to know the physical challenges professional musicians deal with, thus palpating the endless possibilities offered by technology and know-how in this field.

The performance was carried out in the packed hall of the Foundation, with participants expressing their gratitude to the CYENS Centre of Excellence and to the Neurocognitive Management of Occupational Movement Disorders (Neo-Move) research team. The event was carried out with great success through the collaboration of the Cognitive and Clinical Applications (CCAPS), and Immersive Technologies for Intelligent and Creative Applications (ITICA) research groups. Special thanks were extended to Fotos Frangoudis, Dr. Tania Karina Garcia Vite, Evangelia Athanasiou, and Christina Pari, who, in addition to their research duties, actively contributed to the organisation and technical support of this scientific concert.

In addition, the group extended warm thanks to the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation and Dr. Ioanna Hadjicosti for hosting the concert in the Foundation's auditorium as well as for their contribution to the organisation and promotion of the event.

The specific interactive technology presented in the 7 June concert was funded by the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), the Horizon 2020 of the European Union, and recently by Cyprus Seeds, one of the most comprehensive programs to support and consolidate a culture of innovation in Cyprus and beyond. The scientific concert 'Beyond the Melodies' received funding within the framework of the TONE project, (European Union Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, project number 101028715).

CYENS Centre of Excellence was founded in 2018 as a non-profit organisation, in the walled city of Nicosia, through the securing of a competitive proposal of the Horizon 2020 funding program of the European Commission to strengthen research and innovation. The project is coordinated by the Municipality of Nicosia, with partners the 3 public universities of Cyprus, and the European scientific institutions University College London (UCL) and Max Planck Institute (MPI), while supported by the Republic of Cyprus.

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