International Sound Awards deadline

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The deadline for the International Sound Awards has been extended to 26 May 2023. That means there’s three weeks left to submit projects.

Here’s the link to apply.

I can recommend entering this if you have an interesting sound or music project that fits one of their categories, which range from product to development, marketing to art. 

Some of the people I work with at MTF Labs have been recipients of this award in the past. Four MTFers won the ISAbell awards and more were highly commended runners up.

Pictured above (seated L-R) are Vahakn Matossian (Human Instruments), Tim Palm (DJ Arthro) and Tim Yates (Drake Music and Hackoustic) who won for their brilliant accessible music product LoopFree, which was invented in the #MTFLabs in Stockholm 2018 and further developed with the support of an MTF Prize awarded by KTH Innovation.

Standing is Mordechai Braunstein whose CyMagic project brings the experience of music to deaf children and educates about the science of sound and vibration. An early version of CyMagic was tested at MTF Stockholm, then developed and showcased at MTF Pula in 2019.

Rani Dar (Play This Wall) and Viktor Löfgren (Thrive – Youth and Integration) also had projects selected as finalists and runners up, which was a remarkable achievement.

#MTFLabs: Blockchain

Blockchain technology has received a great deal of media attention recently. It’s a technology that’s been at the core of new and innovative startups, and has been championed by Imogen Heap, Benji Rogers and others as a way to make the music business more fair, transparent and sustainable.

In the week leading up to Music Tech Fest Berlin at Funkhaus, the festival is inviting some of the best minds in the field – from well-known artists and labels, music streaming and cloud hosting organisations to scientists and academics from the world’s top institutions – to participate in a 5 day blockchain laboratory to conduct experiments and explore the possibilities for music using the technology.

#MTFLabs: Blockchain is not simply a discussion or a seminar, but a hands-on testbed for innovation and experimentation. There are some fundamental questions to be explored and some exclusive technologies to be tested – and of course, the central figures in the public blockchain music conversation will be involved and represented.

It’s not just about music.

#MTFLabs: Blockchain is a perfect example of how fundamental technologies derive from, or are driven by music tech. The Blockchain itself continues the theme of decentralised (or peer-to-peer) data sharing by first-generation MP3 sharing platforms like Kazaa (which in turn gave birth to Skype) or generic file distribution tools like BitTorrent. Innovation comes from all directions: but music technology is a cultural force, driving progress in verticals from fintech to automotive.

Music Tech Fest Berlin is also partnering with Hack in the Box – a security hack event in Amsterdam to ensure the best minds in Europe come together to progress, to question and to innovate in the realm of blockchain music.

The results of #MTFLabs: Blockchain will be showcased and demonstrated on the main festival stage at #MTFBerlin, 27-30 May at Funkhaus – and will also be examined and discussed in more depth at the #MTFResearch symposium on Monday 30th May. The results will also form the basis of policy briefing material for the European Commission, and be fed back into the wider industries and startups as open innovation to move the technology forward.

The festival of music ideas

A lot’s happened since I last wrote. Life can be pretty interesting. Changing career and moving to another country is just the tip of the iceberg. The great thing about this is that I now have the opportunity to dive back into something that was always really important to me: writing – and specifically, writing about music and technology for a general audience rather than (or as well as) for a handful of academics.

I am the director of Music Tech Fest – the global festival of music ideas, and it represents a series of interests of mine that have been part of the New Music Strategies story all along, but which never really had the opportunity to come to the forefront. It’s about music and innovation in the digital age – but it’s not just about marketing, promotion and monetisation. In fact it’s almost exclusively not about that – which is so incredibly refreshing.

Music Tech Fest is a community of brilliant artists and technologists, members of industry and academia, makers, hackers and performers all coming together to celebrate and invent the future of music. New types of instruments, new internet-connected products, new art and new collaborations.

As well as incredible performances and demos on the main festival stage, there’s a 24 hour hackathon, a place where anyone can get together and jam with the latest kit (and some famous musicians!), a kids hack camp, installations, and lots more besides.

The ideas are wonderful – and our next festival (our tenth!) at the end of May in Berlin features bionic artists, GUNK – Geek Punk, #MusicBricks, transhumanism and music as an extension of the human body, re-shaping the music industry with Blockchain, music as a social glue, interactive multisensory performance, immersive 3D music in VR space, the music of migration, ancient and future technologies from the junkyard to the laboratory.

The highlights video above will give you a pretty good indication of the kind of delightful, surprising and brilliant innovation and performance that goes on at the festival.

It’s a really exciting space to be in and I have a lot of stories to tell and thoughts to share on this front – and I thought it would be great to dust off the old blog, fire it up again, give it a fresh injection of new thinking and set it to work again.

So here we are. I’m excited to talk to you more about this stuff in the coming days and weeks ahead – and I hope to see you at #MTFBerlin. You really should be there.

Check it out.