From our Organic Intelligence concert prepration
Thank you for this past year. The lab has been active, and we’ve had quite a lot of happenings together. We truly appreciate how many people have started participating in our activities and supported us with their presence, by attending or performing at musical events and sharing ideas at workshops and open labs. Our community is growing bigger every day, taking our experiments and research into fascinating directions.
Like so many others, we would like to take these first moments of the new year and reflect upon the year that we have had.
One of our biggest accomplishments of the year was the international conference we ran with Emute Lab on Artificial Intelligence and Music Creativity at the University of Sussex from August 30th until September 1st. The AIMC is an annual conference bringing together a community working on the application of AI in music practice. This community is highly interdisciplinary with a background in diverse fields of research and practice. The theme this year was Intelligent Performance Systems, and we had some exciting topics ranging from performance systems, computational creativity, machine listening, robotics, sonification, and more.
The conference on PubPub: https://aimc2023.pubpub.org/
The proto-langspil tracks are being released, one by one
Remember when we started this lab and developed our first instrument, the proto-langspil? We built, did research and iterated, over and over, until we were able to proudly write about the instrument in a NIME paper and later lend out the instrument to a few of our good musician friends. Throughout the year, the artists have been borrowing the four proto-langspils that we made, recording their tracks and sending them off to Josh Wilkinson to master. Finally, on October 13th, the first track was released.
Five out of eight tracks have been released this year. You can listen to all of them here:
Listen to all the proto-langspil tracks on Spotify
Details on each single:
Gufunes by Keli (feat. EstHer)
Gjafir Kairos by Kira Kira (feat. Eyjólfur Eyjólfsson)
Trio for Lokkur, Langspil and Proto-Langspil by Berglind María Tómasdóttir
Free Again by Egill Sæbjörnsson
Lampinn by Eydís Kvaran
We’re looking forward to sharing the last three tracks with you in the new year, musical pieces by Davíð Brynjar, Kira Kira and Línus Orri.
We have greeted many researchers and artists at the lab this year and worked on some amazing projects together. This includes three post-docs who all made the time to settle in Iceland for a few months to work on their projects at the lab.
Giacomo explored compositional strategies for the mediation of sociocultural values and technological agencies, considering the practice of sonic interaction design as an opportunity to play with illusions and magic. This work resulted in a sound installation which detects body gestures through feathers and generates sounds via neural audio synthesis – called Pluma.
Sophie Skach is a designer who worked with electronic textiles with us for three months in early 2023 as a post-doc. She explored the material properties of knitted surfaces and how that can feed into the design of new musical interfaces. She led a trip to the Textile Center in Blönduós and hosted a workshop in Reykjavík on the topic, along with teaching in the Fashion Department of the university. We liked her so much that we asked her to come again later in the year to help with the txalaparta research, focusing on the ethnographic parts of the research.
Adam Pultz is a performer, composer, and sonic researcher, known for their solo double bass music with their musical invention: FAAB (feedback-actuated augmented bass). As they are already engaged with feedback instruments with embedded signal processing, it was only logical to host them for post-doctoral research on the halldorophone. They hosted a workshop and a concert with artists playing the halldorophone, while studying the autonomy the instrument.
We also hosted some independent artists and researchers who worked at the lab for various amounts of time. Such as Celeste Betancur, Eleonora Oreggia, Ibon RG, Enrike Hurtado, and Moisés Horta Valenzuela (a.k.a. hexorcismos).
Sean bringing a piece of the Organolib to Uni Iceland
We love to host workshops on top of everything else that we do. Moises hexorcismos taught us the basic for neural sound synthesis. Sophie Skach taught us the basics of e-textiles in her workshop co-hosted by Læti! / Stelpur rokka!, Ibon RG and Enrike Hurtado hosted not one but two txalaparta workshops, one in Strandir and one in Reykjavik, Adam Pultz worked with a few string players on the new halldorophone, and the gang went to the Textile Center in Blönduós.
The magnetic discs by Nicola were invented this year
The year’s recap would not be completed without mentioning some of our live performances! We played an hour-long program at the computer and electronic music festival ErkiTíð, filled Hallgrímskirkja cathedral with experimental organ music by hosting Organic Intelligence, Celeste and Jack introduced their artificial life music at Culture Night which Jack later set up for Strengjavera, a sound installation at the Nordic House, and the gang went to Ómar Festival.
Halldór custom made some sticks for our txalaparta project
Thanks again to everyone who showed up to any of these events, whether you are one of our personal friends and a curious lurker on our channels. We wish you happy new year, full of wonders and joy.
Your friends at the lab.