Tod Machover at RSA, worth going back to

A while ago now I went to see Tod Machover speak at the RSA about his work and views on the Future of Music. I keep going back to his talk, which blew me away at the time. Over a year on, it’s now more relevant than ever with the emergence of music as software within the mainstream.


‘Love’ by Air, RjDj augmented music app

It was great to see the Air iPhone RjDj app I worked on at RjDj released recently. It was awesome to work with a band whose music I personally really like and admire a lot. The app creates augmented version of their track Love with various different ‘pages’ of musical content, allowing the listener to navigate their own path through the music and add layers of their own content, seamlessly interwoven into the music.

Berlin and Club Transmediale

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I was lucky enough to represent RjDj on a panel over at Club Transmediale last week. The panel discussion was about apps and their potential impact and importance for musicians and the music industry.

It was a great discussion ranging from the use of mobile devices for ‘toy’ like apps like the Mobilee label app done with Touchmix , through sample instrument apps like Star6 to more format oriented platforms like RjDj.

It was really interesting to talk with Bryan McDade about the app and various pieces of technology he supervised for Richie Hawtin during the Contakt tour. This seemed like a pretty crazy combination of technologies resulting in a very ‘connected’ audience and performer. I remarked that the work they are doing with live music is kinda similar to the stuff we are trying to do with the recorded music experience.

Aside from Club Transmediale, I checked out the WMF club briefly, heard a bit of DJ Sniff, but then went up the Fernsehturm and somehow managed to fluke a table in the restaurant. Here I met a really friendly Romanian businessman who was a hospitality and restauranteur. It was pretty interesting to talk to him about change in that industry. Berlin also has a crazy night time rainbow thing going on at the moment !

Whilst I was there, I also went back to a location I recorded about 6 years ago now. Its the Ostbahnhof trainstation. I made a recording there and did a piece of music based on derived chordal structures, melodies and rhythms from the field recording. At the time there weren’t any photos taken of the station, or perhaps they got lost.. so I took some more.

Here is the piece of music :

Panel discussion at Transmediale, 2010 Berlin

I’m going to be at Transmediale in Berlin next Thursday as part of a panel discussion about music apps. I hope to discuss the unprecidented range of artistic and economic possibilities that the format of reactive music affords.

In short presentations, current music gadgets and music applications for mobile electronic devices developed by artists and designers will be introduced. Afterwards, the editor of De-Bug magazine, Thaddeus Hermann, and the participants will discuss the artistic and economic potential of these new formats and applications. Are they used as an independent artistic medium, or are they merely expansions and accessories of known formats? Do they open up new artistic perspectives and new earning opportunities? How does the collaboration between artists and technology developers work? What has been the experience so far, and how do the panelists foresee the near future of this field?

Talk at Music 4.5 2010

Recently I had a great inspiring conversation with @rassami about RjDj, reactive music and the incredible new horizons that music as software opens up. She kindly invited me to represent RjDj at Music 4.5 and talk about some of those concepts. I’ll also be discussing some of the work we have done with major label artist apps such as Little Boots. The event is on the 4th March 2010. I’m talking after the opening interview with Jemima Kiss from the Guardian, Feargal Sharkey and Brian Message. Nikhil Shah of Mixcloud will also be part of the same section.

Here is a little explanation about the event from the website :

Music 4.5 will bring together music tech start-ups, serial entrepreneurs, investors, artists, band managers and key industry players to share knowledge, discuss strategies for business success, debate market trends and evolution, as well as network.

The name Music 4.5 is derived from a Web 2.0 philosophy which says that, after the huge losses incurred on Web 1.0, the ambition for web enterprises is to make money and achieve a 4.5 times return on investment (ROI). In the music and technology business landscape this means a 4.5 times ROI for all parties: artists, entrepreneurs and investors.

The Music 4.5 event brings together the tech geeks and the music geeks, both innovators and creators, with the aim of inspiring a new creative discussion focusing on innovation, revenue and business model opportunities, disruptive technology and social content. Most innovation in the music industry comes from tech companies attempting to disrupt the market and find a sustainable way of making money in the ‘era of free music’. The objective of the Music 4.5 day is to create, curate and deliver fresh thinking focusing on the opportunity within the extended new music paradigm.

I’m really looking forward to this one, hearing the opinions and strategies across the industry for how to move forward into the real digital age of music.