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Music Tech Fest Hits Cambridge This Weekend – Let’s Invent the Future of Music

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Music Tech Fest

Music Tech Fest, “The Festival of Ideas,” is hitting the US for the first time ever this Friday through Sunday. And it’s coming straight to a NERD Center near you.

In a nutshell, this is what you can expect: Some of the brightest minds that exist in the playground where music and technology intersect will show you things you’ve never seen before, because they’ve just been created.

Founded three years ago in London by Michela Maga and her colleague Andrew Dubber, Music Tech Fest has started touring world-wide just this year. Last week, they hit Wellington, New Zealand. And now, thanks to the organizing of the music data-minded brains behind Cambridge’s The Echo Nest, about a dozen university professors, graduate students, and technologists will be attending and speaking at our very own Music Tech Fest in Cambridge.

According to Dubber in a video recap of NZ’s fest: “It’s a festival of ideas. So what tends to happen at a Music Tech Fest is there are back-to-back presentations where people come along and say, ‘I invented this thing. Let me show it to you. These are the noises that it makes. Do you want to come and play with it?”

“It might be everything from a robot orchestra to someone who has figured out a new musical instrument by using Kinect,” says Nancy Baym, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England who coordinated with Dubber to bring the fest here. Baym will be giving a presentation on Saturday at 1pm on “Musicians and Social Media.”

In addition to demos by presenters ranging from world-renowned music tech companies to new music apps in their beta stages, there will be a weekend-long Music Hackathon.

Adam Williams won the "best new musical instrument" Hackathon challenge with the “Quirkuitar”, a software synthesizer with a wireless iPad based guitar-style controller.

Adam Williams won the “best new musical instrument” Hackathon challenge with the “Quirkuitar”, a software synthesizer with a wireless iPad based guitar-style controller.

According to Dubber, “The Hackathon is essentially, ‘Here are some toys to play with. Here are some ideas and here are some challenges. Let’s invent the future of music.’”

Adam John Williams, who won two of the top prizes at the Hackathons during the first two years of Music Tech Fest in London, is the official Music Tech Fest Hackathon Coordinator. If you want to participate, don’t miss his presentation Friday at noon; or head here at 6pm for the Hackathon Meetup and Introduction.

“There will be many opportunities during the day and at off-site events in the evenings and nights for conversations to continue and for new collaborations to be born,” Nancy said. “I expect that there will be many things that will open new ways of thinking for people who attend.”

So who are these presenters and what’s the layout like for the weekend? We have the full schedule (closest to date) below, complete with links for you to explore. You can still register here.

 

THE SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY 21ST MARCH
On Friday 21st March we will be in the 1ST FLOOR Conference Centre at Microsoft
Research. It is important that you REMEMBER TO BRING GOVERNMENT-ISSUED ID to gain access to the building.

10:30am | Arrival at Microsoft Research – 1st Floor Conference Centre

10:45am | Welcome by festival director Andrew Dubber & founder Michela Magas

11:00am | Keynote panel: Posterity hacking – Developers, APIs and the music archive
A live linkup to the British Library Sound Archives ‘Keeping Tracks’ Symposium

12:00pm | Geoff Howse presents The Ministry of Measurement
Adam John Williams – Hacking at Music Tech Fest
Paul Lamere – A world of music hacks!
Mike Young – Redstar Union: the most high tech music venue

1:00pm | Xiao Xiao (MIT) – Experiments in piano learning technologies
Philip Cohen – AudioCommon
Jonathan Sterne – Designing technologies for musicians
Nathan Abramson – Noteflight

2:00pm | Bill Wilson – MusicBiz.org
Bryan Pardo – Social EQ!
Ed Guild & Shawn Bernardo (iZotope) – Iris demo

3:00pm | Panos Panay & Ken Zolot (Berklee) – Creative Entrepreneurship
Jeremy Krause & Michael Bourque – Pandemic.fm

4:00pm | Jonathan Marmor (The Echo Nest) – Re-implementing my old
algorithmic compositions
MaxD – Temporeal

5:00pm | John Fiorello – RecordME
Eric Rosenbaum – Melody Morph

6:00pm | HACKATHON MEETUP AND INTRODUCTION
Peter Torpey (MIT) – Theatre/Music/Image/Storytelling
Kyle Billings – Wax Limited
Kristen Bender – Sonos

7:00pm | David Blutenthal of Boston Music Tech
Meetup Group hosts the Music Tech Fest!
UnConference. Join the Impromptu, Unstructured Conversation Sessions.
Go explore!

9:00pm | Close

SATURDAY 22ND MARCH
On Saturday and Sunday, we will be in the 10TH FLOOR Events Centre at Microsoft. Entry is from the 11th floor – then down the grand staircase. Where required, elevator access is
available with the help of a Microsoft staff member. Once again, it is important that you
REMEMBER TO BRING GOVERNMENT-ISSUED ID to gain access to the building.

12:00pm | HACKATHON BEGINS – AT MICROSOFT RESEARCH

12:00pm | Nancy Baym (Microsoft Research) – Musicians and Social Media
LJ Rich (BBC) – Music As Culture

1:00pm | Steve Wiz – Hard Hittin Entertainment
Bill Wilson – OpenAura
Tim White – Chrysalis Guitar

2:00pm | Eric Rosebaum – MaKey MaKey
Darren Hoffman – Tutti Player
Kathleen Stetson – Trill

3:00pm | Adrian Holovaty – Soundslice
CJ Carr – Hack for Music Therapy
Nick Garcia – Mmmmaven

4:00pm | Eric Shea – Sofar Sounds
Hunter McCurry – LiquidScore
Ann Chao & Paul Smith – Sonation
5:00pm | Norbert Schnell – Playing with sound
Nick Krasney & Kiran Gandhi – Music Minds Gatherings at Harvard

6:00pm | David Day – Together Festival
Moduloktopus performance
Marty Quinn – CRaTER Live

7:00pm | Aram Sinnreich – Mashed Up and The Piracy Crusade
David Blutenthal – Moodsnap
Ed Guild & Shawn Bernardo (iZotope) – BreakTweaker

8:00pm | Halsey Bergund – Roundware
Joshua Fineberg (Boston Uni) – Tech-ing the Arditti Quartet

9:00pm | HACKATHON WRAPS UP AT MICROSOFT RESEARCH AND MOVES…

10:00pm | HACKATHON CONTINUES AT REDSTAR UNION FOR AN ALL-NIGHTER
MUSIC HACK PERFORMANCE AND IMPROVISATION WITH LIVE MUSICIANS
LIMITED SPACE – HACKER PRIORITY

SUNDAY 23RD MARCH!
On Saturday and Sunday, we will be in the 10TH FLOOR Events Centre at Microsoft. Entry is from the 11th floor – then down the grand staircase. Where required, elevator access is
available with the help of a Microsoft staff member. Once again, it is important that you
REMEMBER TO BRING GOVERNMENT-ISSUED ID to gain access to the building.

12:00pm | HACKATHON ENDS AT REDSTAR UNION
HACKERS RETURN TO MICROSOFT RESEARCH

12:00pm | David France presents The Revolution of Hope
Morgan Packard – Thicket: an audiovisual playground for iOS
Anthony de Ritis – New music, new instruments and creative process

1:00pm | Aaron Einbond & Diemo Schwarz – CataRT: real-time MIR
Nick Donaldson & Morgan Packard – Tonic: Crisp, refreshing Audiosynthesis in C++
Daniel Adler-Golden – Grouptones

2:00pm | Wayne Marshall (The Echo Nest) – The Art of YouTube Musicology
Danny Kirchner – Bundio
Josiah Oberholtzer – Abjad Notation Library

3:00pm | Presentation and performance of the hacks from the Music Tech Fest Hackathon

5:00pm | Hacker prizegiving

7:00pm ! Arditti Quartet concert at ICA Boston thanks to Boston University!

FINAL CONCERT
We are very excited to include the world-renowned Arditti Quartet at the The Institute of
Contemporary Art, Boston as our closing performance on Sunday night at 7pm, with thanks to the
University of Boston and the ICA. Tickets to this event are available at the ICA Boston’s website
(https://buy.icaboston.org/public/) at a half-price discount for Music Tech Fest attendees. ! !
Tickets to the public are $20, but if you enter the code TechFest14 when buying the Arditti Quartet
tickets, they’re only $10. With experimental electronics being applied to one of the world’s best
contemporary classical groups, we think this will make the perfect conclusion to the festival.!

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