Intro: Regional Innovation through Digital Music & Sound

Not sure it’s common practice to introduce ourselves but @Jean-Baptiste opened the door in another thread…

I’m an ethnomusicologist by training with a background in electronic music from the late 1980s and a strong interest in Open Innovation. My recent research has been on technological appropriation through music. I tend to explore widely by using things like Raspberry Pi boards, diverse controllers, iPad plugins, etc.

My current dayjob allows me to do action-research fieldwork for COlab, a new Living Lab which seeks to enable Open Innovation through several fields of digital transformation in a region of Quebec called Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. My specific projects revolve around music and sound, in part because those are strengths in the College with which we’re affiliated.

At this point in time, the possibilites are simply endless. We’re exploring all sorts of opportunities and approaches, which go from Acoustic Ecology to Digital Streaming and from Casual Musicking to Digital Storytelling.

I initially heard about Music Hackspace a few years ago around an event on “digital luthiers” organized at McGill University’s CIRMMT. In parallel, got impressed by JB’s role around MPE and MIDI 2.0 while at ROLI. But it’s really through the livestreams through Facebook that I gained an appreciation for what can be done here.

I’m quite curious as to what everyone is doing. During live sessions, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to gain a sense of the range in projects and approaches and interests and skills.

“Listening” forward to hear from some other people here!

– Alex

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Absolutely welcome to introduce yourself and propose topics such as this one!
I will let forum members talk about themselves, but I’ll be listening too, and happy to support initiatives in whichever way I can.
The platform is growing with new workshop leaders coming in and diversifying the range of topics. I’m particularly excited that we’ve started to curate hardware workshops online. But that’s not the only format that we could support and we could have free hangouts on a particular topic if enough people are interested.

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Good to know about different formats. Feels to me like we may be getting into a bit of a “webinar fatigue”, depending on the effects of the pandemic.
A broad topic I’d like to explore more specifically at this point is: how can electronic music and sound help develop relevant competencies? For instance, data literacy through sonification, computational thinking through livecoding, network collaboration through online jams…
It’s a bit of a “meta” level, which is why Music Hackspace can be a great place to meet people who do diverse projets.

I’ve met many great engineers who started as musicians, who learned to program or design hardware because they were motivated to build something. Music is a great motivation to learn. Our workshops all have a strong technology part but it’s taught as part of a larger objective, a creative goal, so learning the tech part is a mean and not the end. But eventually, people have acquired new skills.

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Excellent point!
In fact, hacking and musicking are very similar. Sure, “Raspberry Pi Jam” is mostly a pun. But much of what we do in Maker culture is jammin’ with tech. Meanwhile, creating music is about building something very concrete through a rather abstract system.