Last week we were very proud to be part of the MIT FAST festival in Boston. FAST is a festival celebrating MIT’s unique confluence of art, science and technology. We took part in the Music|Machines day over at the MIT Media Lab with some demo’s of a number of augmented sound apps including RjDj, Rj Voyager and Inception the app.
The day featured a stellar array of speakers. The programme raced through the evolution of computer music, from its genesis to its use in the bleeding edge of music creation, performance, distribution and experience.
The day started with a keynote from Max Matthews describing his work in, what many would say is, the genesis of computer music – Music 1.0 in 1957. Joe Paradiso moderated a great discussion with Pete Samson, Wayne Slawson and Chris Strangio about the further development of these technologies in the 1960s at MIT. That was followed by a great conversation with Barry Vercoe and Miller Puckette about C-Sound and Max/MSP and Pure data. Tod Machover and his team then described the creation of his latest opera ‘Death and the Powers’ – from robotic performers to giant interactive chandelier harps. The day also included performances from Golan Levin, and panels on music and the mind with Marvin Minsky, Robert Rowe, Mary Farbood, Adam Boulanger and many more. Formal panels concluded with a discussion of MIT spinoffs in music and technology, featuring founders and CEOs of Harmonix, Echonest and Izotope. Full video of all the talks is here
We were demoing RjDj along side many other great interactive musical instruments, languages, API’s and tools. They included Miller Puckette showing Pure data itself, Joe Paradiso’s massive modular synth, Marvin Minsky’s MUSE synth, new versions of Rockband 3 Pro, and RX2 / Stutter Edit from Izotope.
After the demo’s it was really great to discuss RjDj, scene making, reactive music and Inception the App with Max Matthews, Milller Puckette and Chris Strangio as well as many undergrad and postgrad students from MIT. We had a great discussion about effective techniques for creating music that is distributed in a realtime form – like an RjDj scene. This is something we hope to continue with some workshop discussions at MIT soon.