grace leslie
ATLAS Institute • College of Music

Grace Leslie is a flutist, electronic musician and scientist. She develops brain-music interfaces and other physiological sensor systems that reveal aspects of her internal cognitive and affective state, those left unexpressed by sound or gesture, to an audience. As an electronic music composer and improviser, she maintains a brain-body performance practice. Grace strives to integrate the manners of conventional emotional and musical expression that she learned as a flutist with the new forms available to her as an electronic musician, using a brain-computer interface to reveal aspects of her internal mental state—those left unexpressed by sound or gesture—to an audience. In recent years she has performed this music in academic and popular music venues, conferences and residencies in the United States, UK, Australia, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Japan, and released three records of this mind-body music.

As a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she researched the link between cortical and physiological arousal, and developed new music interfaces that modulate this link to bring well-being. She later completed a fellowship at Dartmouth College, where she collaborated with the Neurology research team at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in the development of epilepsy therapies using electronic music and sound. 

She completed her undergraduate and master's work in music, science, and technology at CCRMA, Stanford University, and earned her PhD in Music and Cognitive Science at UCSD. As part of her PhD, she studied the expressive movements and brain dynamics supporting music engagement at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience. During her Ph.D. studies, she spent a year working at Ircam in Paris, collaborating on an interactive sound installation and performing experiments that studied the effect of active involvement in music listening. Prior to joining CU Boulder’s ATLAS Institute, Grace was an assistant professor of Music Technology at Georgia Tech.