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Music Tech Fest

Music Tech Fest
Music Tech Fest – Karlsruhe, Germany 2018

Far more than merely gazing at the starry heavens, Synchronica set out to plug audiences’ brains directly into a space data simulator of planetary orbits and consciously affect the orbital patterns. The feedback loop went beyond a ‘second skin of data’ (intended as either a protective coat of armour or a stimulating layer of continuous input) to focus instead on the deliberate action and brain training output challenging us to leap beyond the close and the personal, abandon navel gazing, and train ourselves to interact at a grand scale with planetary forces.

The first iteration of the simulator built by Johanna Tano with the Synchronica group at MTF Stockholm in September 2018 using NASA data and based on Kelly Snook’s work on Kepler’s ‘Music of the Planets’ had already scooped the KTH Innovation MTF Grand Prize. For ZKM, the data choreography was amplified to create complex visual harmonies with generative frequencies produced by intentional brain activity of the participants. Complex generative music harmonies created during the labs by Andrea Cerrato with different parameters for each planet enabled the participants to tune in and orientate themselves across interplanetary distances while producing a symphony of visual and audible frequencies. MuArts’ craft of training participants’ brains based on clinical trials meant that every audience participant – from the youngest, aged 3, to the oldest, in their 70s – was able to use the strength of their brain’s focus, their intention and their response, to create their own brain signature of human-planetary frequencies.


Music Tech Fest – Helsinki, Finland 2017

On 24-29 November 2017, in the run-up to Slush in Helsinki, #MTFLabs gathered some of the most brilliant minds from the MTF community to challenge what we can be humans. At the centre of our labs was the brilliant blind singer and vocal coach from the Sibelius Institute, Riikka Hänninen. Working with Riikka and building enabling new technologies for her became one of the most profound transformational experiences for the 30 minds gathered in the labs. Watch the video below for some jaw-dropping moments.

The final performance at the launch of Slush 2017 challenged the 3-minute pitch with a 20-minute performance which allowed for audiences to truly experience the human transformation. Members of the audiences were wired for pulse and were able to transmit their heartbeat to Riikka so that she could feel their reaction. Special accessible devices were developed for Riikka to be able to manipulate her own vocal effects. Neurofeedback sensors allowed Riikka to create music using her brain.

The labs saw the first ever prototyping of real-time tracking of intellectual property in the blockchain.


Music Tech Fest – Berlin, Germany 2016

Between the 23rd and the 27th of May 2016 amazing minds including artists, makers, designers and inventors from MIT Media Lab, Ars Electronica Future Lab, #MusicBricks teams and cutting edge creative developers gathered to explore interactive performance and ‘Music as Extension of the Human Body’ in a secret chamber of the legendary Funkhaus. Results of this collaboration were accessible by hackers on Friday 27th and to exclusive audiences on Saturday 28th of May, during #MTFBerlin.

The process started two months before #MTFBerlin, when a group of artists, designers, hackers and makers gathered on a quest to create a new icon for the music industry. The result was a series of concepts, including ‘Smokification’ by Anouk Wipprecht for Viktoria Modesta and ‘Sonified carbon fibre body suit’ by Selina Bond and Adam John Williams.

This series is a collaboration between several artists and makers under the creative direction of Viktoria Modesta and Joanna Hir. Carbon fibre body by Selina Bond with shoes by Iris van Herpen X United Nude and creative concept for electronics by Anouk Wipprecht, sonification of the carbon fibre body by Adam John Williams. Prosthetic by the Alternative Limb Project. Photography by Nhu Xuan Hua. Styled by Joanna Hir, assisted by David Asmutis. MUA by Lan Nguyen-Grealis, hair Kim Roy, and set design Helen Sirp & Lisa Jahovic. Produced by Michela Magas and Viktoria Modesta.


Music Tech Fest – Umea, Sweden 2015

The project #FindingSomethingBondingSound has received the prestigious Ars Electronica STARTS Prize Jury Nomination, chosen from 1,861 entries, and has been listed in the 2016 Top 30 State of the Art for achievements at the crossover between science and art.

#FindingSomethingBondingSound is an application for audiovisual artists designed and performed by #WhiteMatter collective, Xico Teixeira, Horácio Tomé-Marques and Fanni Fazakas. The project began in the hack camp at #MTFScandi to find new ways of creating meaningful music communication. #FindingSomethingBondingSound is a uniquely intuitive instrument for Audiovisual artists, DJs, musicians and performance artists. It allows the brain to act as an audiovisual sampling system whilst the body becomes an effects modulator. In performances at #MTFScandi, #MTFCentral and #MTFBerlin the team have used the application to control audio and video samples live through mental activation or relaxation – representing 7 broad states of mind from low arousal to high arousal. Meanwhile the movements of the arms and body control the effects according to their position, accelerations and angle.

The team used 1 Emotiv Epoc Headset (Emotiv Inc); 3 R-IoT sensors (IRCAM); 1 Audio Interface (Brand); 1 Dj Mixer (Brand); 1 Video Projector (n/a). HoMy_EmoRAW (A stand-alone application designed by Horácio Tomé-Marques that implements the OSC protocol to access Emotiv Epoc Research Headset raw data, available at the Emotiv store); Max7 — audio, jitter and filtering components (Cycling74); Live (Ableton), MnM/FTM filters (Max externals by IRCAM) all integrated for live performance.