MTFBerlin

It’s been a few weeks since Music Tech Fest in Berlin happened so it’s about time I write about what I got up to. As is to be expected with MTF, it was all mind blowingly incredible, innovative and fun.

Hakan Libdo bought quite a few of his installations with him which were all fantastic! I had a great time playing blind tennis with Dave from Daves conservatoire! And building an edible step sequencer with Cos Chapman. I love the playfulness and interactiveability of Hakans work, they genuinely make you think and smile and connect with other people and the world.

Another highlight was Martin Molin from Wintergatan showing off some of his instruments. You’d know him from his amazing marble machine that did the rounds on the Internet recently. He confirmed he’s working on a transportable version of it which would be incredible to see.

Another really great installation was Luis Zayas‘ lifeblood. Drops of water from drip feeds trigger sequences of notes in predetermined scales resulting in an amazingly peaceful, dreamy experience.

The Highlight, as is customary, was the Hackcamp. 24 hours to make something with a bunch of challenges to aim towards. I teamed up with Luis Zayas and Gawain Hewitt and built something ridiculous. A installation/performance piece that used a tree as one of the performers.

Ben Heck from The Ben Heck show was kicking about and being a judge and filming some things. Here’s Luis’ and I trying to explain our creation as quickly as we could:

(Watch the whole video, every other project being worked on was INCREDIBLE)

The video failed to mention that we used DADA machines to trigger the solenoids, which itself was being sent MIDI notes from a Giant Steps Harmonic Filler. We had light sensors that triggered vocal stems from Eska, the strings on the tree were going to go up into the branches and bend as the wind made the tree sway which would alter the pitch of the notes being played. The Music Bricks Gesture sensor would sit on a branch and as the branch swayed in the wind it could be used either as a control for a MIDI instrument or effects on other elements being played.

A closer look at the tree/hammers in action:

So the tree would actually be controlling 3 different aspects of a performance!

It was pretty amazing how we managed to pull this off in 24 hours, massive massive credit goes to Luis and Gawain for dealing with the tech stuff I had no clue about! It’s great doing these types of events as I get to meet guys like these who have massive amounts of knowledge in subjects completely unknown to me.

We won 2 of the prize categories which was unexpected and much appreciated. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings!

 

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