Scottish Music & Technology

IMG 5046Music and technology are both big interests of mine  (despite not being particularly skilled in either area myself!) so I was happy to write about how Scottish artists are combining the two for the new We Create section of The List.

As research I attended the launch of Music Hack Day Scotland, part of this August’s Turing Festival at Summerhall in Edinburgh.

At the launch Matthew Herbert spoke eloquently about the topic of music and technology, with some particularly interesting comments on the ethics of sampling.

We were also treated to a rather disquieting performance by Marco Donnarumma, whose biophysical system Xth Sense has been named the 2012 “world’s most innovative new musical instrument”. Basically, it takes the body’s own rhythms and translates them into a variety of synthetic sounds. Donnarumma’s highly physical performance certainly gave him the air of a mad professor intent on taking over the world by blasting everyone with dark soundwaves.

Afterwards I interviewed FOUND (creators of #UNRAVEL and Cybraphon) and Yann Seznec (founder of Lucky Frame), who also spoke at the event. Below is an additional quote from Seznec following Music Hack Day.

The Music Hack Day was Jim Wolff’s idea, and I’m really pleased I was able to get involved. There were so many positive outcomes from the weekend, I’m not sure where to start!

I was really proud to show off all of the amazing people and work that is happening in Edinburgh, for one thing. I think over the past few years Edinburgh has quietly become a very strong center of music technology and I think we really managed to show that off.

It’s also great to bring unbridled creativity and unusual thinking together with industry, just to see what happens – there were representatives from Last.fm, Spotify, EMI, and many other amazing music giants, and they were so excited to see people building wacky things with their products.

Finally, I think we managed to get people thinking about all of the different directions music technology can go in, from performance to teaching to listening to games and everything.

You can read the original article over at The List.

Unravelling the Truth With FOUND & Aidan Moffat

“Everything starts with the truth and goes somewhere else”

Aidan Moffat 

The Edinburgh-based FOUND Arts Collective have followed their brilliant (and BAFTA-winning) Cybraphon project with a new interactive sound installation called #unravel. They’ve collaborated with songwriter and storyteller extraordinaire Aidan Moffat, former frontman of Arab Strap and who recently collaborated with Bill Wells for the excellent ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ project.

I spoke to FOUND and Aidan Moffat at the launch of the project yesterday at Edinburgh’s Inspace Gallery and cobbled together this video today (despite a number of technical difficulties!) to give you an idea of what the project involves.

Fear not though as there will be a proper short documentary about the project coming soon – for more details see the official website.

#UNRAVEL opens to the public on 20 April – 7 May as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art at Arch 24/ SWG3.