Amazing speakers were lined-up on Friday night at the Music Tech Festival, a 3-day event gathering hackers, musicians, engineers, artists, technologists, music composers and promoters, hosted in the beautiful LSO St Luke centre.
Among others projects, Alex Haw presented his great arboreal lightening, a massive light sculpture following the structure of the auditorium where it has been installed. The sound produced by the artists’ performances fed the lights on the tree, making it come alive.
Ian Shepherds, then, showed us a demo of his plugin ‘Perception’, which allows music engineers to find the perfect balance of loudness and dynamics for their music (www.perceptionplugin.com).
Michela Maggas (Director of the Festival) and Andrew Dubber (Professor at Birmingham University) presented their documentary “Occupy Music”, aiming to share their travel experience around 12 Brazilian cities last year. The film explores the changes of the music community in Brazil, which is composed of about 3000 people dreaming about a better world, where “the street becomes the new place to be, to connect, to make art and to play music”. Very inspiring!
Dizzyjam.com helps artists and bands generate income from merchandising (T-shirts, mugs with a track printed on them, etc.). Its founder showed great ideas of how technology can actually boost the music industry. One of them is the ‘Air guitar T-shirt’. The T-shirt features a guitar printed on it, which the wearer can actually play! Indeed, the T-shirt is connected to a laptop, which is able to control the hands’ movements on the guitar through its webcam. The result is a real live music coming from the T-shirt!
Kate Stone showed how her company, Novalia, turned artists posters into speakers. The poster plays different types of music when touched on different parts. She also showed her interactive book project, which creates portals to the specific social media of an artist: only the people holding the “artist’s book” can have access to his social media and any other private content he shares.
At last, she turned a piece of blank paper along with a chip into a midi controller able to play scratched music.
Her goal of “making music physical again” and the demo of her projects have been hugely and fairly applauded by the audience.
Have a look at her TED talk at: http://www.ted.com/talks/kate_stone_dj_decks_made_of_paper.
Matan Berkowitz, presented the “Musical brain hacking”, which allows people to play almost every instruments thanks to an algorithm based on 20 brain features, EEG equipment and a matlab program. Through a quite complex but interesting explanation, he presented his main goals: being able to compose and play music through one’s own thoughts!
We also discovered Concertronica, a great instrument/Midi controller created by Crewdson. Concertronica is equipped with 20 buttons, of which 10 control the sound loops and the remaining ones the effects. In addition, 4 stripes are attached on pulleys and linked with potentiometers. The demo proposed by Crewdson was convincing!
Lastly, the night ended up with Jason Singh and Adam John Williams, 2 talented beat box-hackers who performed with one of their hands covered with sensors.
The Music Tech Fest lasted all the weekend, where Perlimpinpin Designers was part of the Hackers team.
Find out more at: http://www.musictechfest.org/
Novalia : http://www.novalia.co.uk/
Crewdson : http://crewdson.net/2014/the-concertronica/