SoundStage VR is an innovative music instrument sandbox built specifically for room-scale virtual reality. Portrait XO interviews inventor Logan Olson.
Artist, producer and WITCiH founder Bishi put together an amazing live stream performance with the Volta XR team, for Amazon Music on Twitch. It stunned viewers, who were responding on live chat, and was created using cutting edge code and technology. We spoke to Bishi and to Volta XR’s Alex Kane and Yuli Levtov about how the collaboration worked, and asked for their advice for artists wanting to use VR. There’s also info on how you can become a Volta beta tester!
The Hackoustic Presents team put on another amazing night of music and sound art, instruments, and hack projects, including some from the Abbey Road Red Hackathon, at Iklectik in London.
Tara Pattenden is an artist and instrument maker based in Glasgow, who performs as Phantom Chips and ran a special workshop at the V&A to go with the museum’s Pink Floyd exhibition ‘Their Mortal Remains’.
Key quotes from artists and innovators in 2017
The Future is Sound night at the Barbican in London was inspiring and epic, bringing together future and ancient sounds and visions.
New features for the groundbreaking Dubler Studio Kit live voice to MIDI controller from Vochlea, as Dubler 1.2 launches.
Music tech startup Vochlea have been creating a big stir with early previews of its Dubler Studio Kit - grime star Novelist is already a fan - and launched a Kickstarter campaign.. Now Vochlea has just won the Web Summit Music Tech Innovation Award for the Dubler, which is available on pre-order.
The amazing dadamachines have launched their ‘automat toolkit’ on Kickstarter, to massive acclaim, and you can get hands on with them in London on 27th May at Hackoustic, following a massively successful April event.
The Spacehorn sounds amazing, but what actually is it and how do you make it? Zali Krishna created a new breath controlled instrument and sound, using an electronic wind instrument and an Axoloti board, and reveals how he did it.
A mystery tour of experimental electronics in Denmark
Music Tech Fest returned in style in Stockholm in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and with venues that included the dramatic Reaktorhallen - a decommissioned nuclear reactor chamber deep underground. It was the setting for a week long AI Performance Lab of 90 artists, hackers and scientists, and became a spectacular performance space to showcase their work.
Music Tech Fest is back, bigger and more exciting than ever - taking place in Stockholm in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. With Creative Labs, Performances, Demos, in Conversations and Family activities, there’s something for everyone at this festival of innovation and experimentation, including Imogen Heap launching her Mycelia World Tour, work from Scanner, Robyn, Lula Mebrahtu and more. Tickets for the public days 7-9 September are available from the Music Tech Fest website.
Music Tech Fest Scandi - a festival of music ideas - took place in Umeå, Sweden, and proved the biggest and best MTF yet, with new formats, performance and stunning music tech.
Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers have just announced the release of Bloom: 10 Worlds – a developed, augmented and expanded new edition of 2008’s game-changing original Bloom app, that’s a firm favourite here at Kitmonsters, and is now on Android for the first time. Peter Chilvers spoke to us about the new Bloom, available on pre-order from today at Generative Music and out on 7th December.
Attila Haraszti aka Rawfare has hacked SoundCloud by creating an innovative interactive track that’s rave-inspired and changes according to the plays. He’s passionate about creating new ways for artists to get more influence over social platforms and we interviewed him about the SoundCloud ‘Pipo’ track and his other exciting projects.
There’s change afoot. Across Europe. Keychange has started something and it’s going to change the music industry from top to bottom. You can’t face this level of female talent and tell me that the future isn’t gender parity.
Kitmonsters NAMM Show 2016 Review, by Portrait (Rania Kim).
Imogen Heap’s Mycelia project launches its World Tour at Music Tech Fest in Stockholm this week and they are looking for music-makers around the world to be Beta testers of the Creative Passport.
The first New Sounds New Styles event, curated by design icon Malcolm Garrett, was a one-day conference and showcase exploring the intersection of music and technology. With a focus on Immersive Audio and VR, it shone a spotlight on current research, authoring, design and performance, and looked at the future environment for creatives.
Hackoustic Presents made an exciting return to Iklectik Art Lab in South London, featuring artists and creators performing and showcasing amazing instruments and sounds.
After thrilling people with the MiMU Gloves powered by Glover software, the Imogen Heap-founded music tech company MiMU has just released Glover as a desktop app, making gesture-controlled music infinitely more accessible. We tested it out and were awed by all the possibilities it opens up for making custom sounds, with the Gliss phone app, Leap Motion and more. There’s a free demo too!
Artist Gabrielle Chudi writes about the GALVANISE young people’s music tech day that took place in London on 5th July. Video and pics by Richard Costa.
Teenage Engineering unveiled some exciting new gear at NAMM 2017 - I talked to them about their new video synth the OP-Z, and also the latest Pocket Operator, the PO-32 tonic.
Hackoustic’s multi-dimensional Xmas triumph with lula.xyz, Robin the Fog, Tim Yates and Joris Beets, and the next chapter for co-founder and Amoenus artist in residence Tim
New festival We Are Robots presents an amazing line-up at the Old Truman Brewery in London from 2-5 November. Focusing on the ‘future and innovation of music’ it features performances, installations, workshops, discussions, technology, and an industry conference, and includes leading names and exciting newcomers, with Daniel Miller DJ-ing at the after party. Tickets to the main exhibition are free, with performance, panels and workshop tickets available separately.
Tim Exile and team are previewing the exciting new music-making app and service they’ve been working on called Endlesss.
Can walls make waves? Well the thought-provoking #PlayThisWall has been making friends at festivals and events across Europe, with its great electronic sounds. It has even made an appearance with Music Tech Fest at the #Horizon2020 #H2020Future conference at the EU Commission. It’s a double sided wall musical interface by sound artist Run Dreamer, and we asked him to tell us all about it.
There’s a great music tech day and hackathon for young people on 5th July in London, and tickets are free. GALVANISE is being hosted by Brixton’s Pound Café and features workshops, talks, performances, and a chance to explore the wonders of music tech.
Sound Designers ModeAudio have launched a competition with Kitmonsters to win some of their great Sound Packs! They’ve had amazing reviews for creating some of the best samples, loops, patches and presets in the business, praised for their quality and style. They’re designed to integrate with your favourite software and include MIDI data and project files.
We’ve a brand new Kitmonsters podcast, bringing you interviews with artists and innovators in music and tech, talking about their creative projects, ethos, tools and practices. And giving their tips!
Roland had some great new gear on show at NAMM - I talked to David Ahlund in depth about the SYSTEM-8 and the DJ-808.
The halldorophone is a unique acoustic-electric instrument created by Halldór Úlfarsson from Iceland. One of its leading players is Oscar-winning Hildur Guðnadóttir, who used it extensively on her score for Joker, and was part of its development. We talked to Halldór about the cello-like instrument and how it grew from his original idea to becoming a sought-after sound at the heart of tracks from the likes of experimental metal band Sunn O))) and psychedelic folk rap artists CryptoChrome. If you want to see it in action, Bill Thompson will be playing one at his Cafe Oto show in London, on Tuesday 25th February.
Bishi’s incredible WITCiH Summer Salons are a magnet for talented innovators, and the June edition was a classic, with amazing insights from Imogen Heap, Bishi and Rachel Wingfield from Loop.pH. The next salon is on Wednesday 12th July at The Barge House in London with Rebekah Ubuntu, Jenn Kirby, Bishi and Kat Five.
The Augmented Instruments Lab at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary University of London, is a place of wonder. It focuses on developing new instruments and interfaces for creative musical expression, and is led by Dr Andrew McPherson. Hackoustic arranged a Field Trip to meet the team there and explore some of the unique instruments, and unsurprisingly it was quickly fully-booked.
SESH is a game-changing app that’s a peer-to-peer music production market place. It lets you find recording studios, rehearsal space, gear rentals and talent for hire. Portrait XO talks to Roxertronica - fashion designer / stylist / DJ / CMO and Co-Founder of the new app.
The groundbreaking Nuraphone headphones are tailored to your hearing and give a breathtakingly deep and different listening experience. They’re a more than worthy recipient of a CES award this year, for Best of Innovation in the headphone category, and we’re sure there will be more honours to come.
We’ve some special picks from the NAMM Show, by Portrait XO. She’s an Electronic Music Artist, Resident Artist at SAMPLEnHOLD the regular electronic music night in LA, and recent founding member of nonprofit The IASAS (International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists).
An exciting new pan-European organisation Music Tech Europe launched at Linecheck in Milan, setting out to build an innovative music tech ecosystem.
Imogen Heap launched her 2018 Mycelia World Tour and announced her new Creative Passport plan, at an incredible and inspiring pilot event.
See inside Teenage Engineering - the iconic synth makers talked prototyping at Prototypa, part of Design Frontiers in Somerset House during The London Design Festival.
WITCiH at The Barge House, London N1 4/10/17
Portrait XO chats with BT at the premiere of Behringer’s DeepMind 12 synth at their synth-a-thon. Includes the making of BT’s successful crowdfunding campaign, tips on breaking through creative blocks, and his contribution to music tech as a developer.
( Algo | Afro ) Futures is an innovative mentoring programme for Black artists to explore the creative potential of live coding. Led by Antonio Roberts and hosted by VIVID Projects in Birmingham, it’s supported by Alex McLean and Gary Stewart. We interviewed Antonio, and VIVID Director Yasmeen Baig-Clifford. Photos by Jodi Cunningham.