Music Hack Day Scotland

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A few weeks ago saw the inaugural Music Hack Day Scotland, which I was lucky enough to help organise along with the amazing Jim Wolff and Stuart Thomas.

This was an official Music Hack Day, which means it had 24 hours of creative tinkering and exploration with as much support as possible (in terms of equipment, software, data, and food). Sponsors included global companies such as Spotify,, The Echo Nest, Raspberry Pi, EMI, and many others, as well as brilliant locals such as Camel Audio, Artisan Roast, Harviestoun Beer, Blonde, and more.

The turnout, participation, and outcome of the whole event was amazing. We started out with a fantastic opening with Matthew Herbert, FOUND, Marco Donnarumma, Patrick Bergel, and myself giving talks and performances about music and technology. By the end of the 24 hours of hacking there were some truly amazing projects, we couldn’t have asked for more enthusiastic participation. One of my favorite projects was this gorgeous paper digital metronome by Anny Deery

For my part, I was too involved in the organisation to make much myself, but I did manage to find a few minutes to make a ridiculous synthesizer or two for the amazing Puffersphere…someone took a video, have a look for yourself.

You can also read a few other posts and articles about the Hack Day:
Blog post from Raspberry Pi
Relive the magic of the weekend on Storify

Thanks to everyone who got involved, it was brilliant to be a part of it. The next Music Hack Day is in Reykjavik, good luck to the organisers – I’m sure it will be amazing!

Liverpool: Interface Amnesty

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ialogoswebI’m off to Liverpool today, to participate in a very cool event called Interface Amnesty, a fringe event to the amazing Abandon Normal Devices Festival, organized by the ever-awesome SoundNetwork. Phew, that’s a lot of superlatives.

There are a lot of things I like about how Interface Amnesty has been organized…perhaps most importantly I love how they are not concerned with showing off super-cutting-edge technology, but rather are interested in interaction, both in terms of the projects on show and interacting with the artists who create them. From their blog:

We arent showing the cutting edge; its not about who is best its that you want to do it in the first place. There are no new things here you cant see on a google search without much effort; the amnesty is a way to see it first hand, face to face and hands on.

This event is not just about the audience; make no mistake the guests showing off their gadgets will get the most of this; but through their mutual excitement we want to get you infected with the DIY bug and join in.

Not a hackspace, not an exhibition, not ‘the latest thing’, not a gig: the ‘amnesty’ is that the pressure is off, for one day we can just look at and have a go on and reflect on ways to interface with strange electric music.

Pretty brilliant. I’ve made a brand-new batch of Jam Jar Gelkies that I’ll be showing off, and of course I’ll have a bunch of Wii remotes and an iPhone or two as well. I’ll be there all day, and I’m going to give a talk/demonstration of my work at 4pm. There’s a pretty awesome concert happening right afterwards too.

So if you’re in Liverpool, come on down to Static tomorrow starting around 1pm and come say hello! To finish, here are some photos of the birth of the latest batch of Gelkies:

Maker Faire Day 1

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Welcome to the Maker Faire!
We're at 121!
Maker Faire
Maker Faire center : beforeYesterday we made it to the Maker Faire and checked in. We’ve got our stand (number 121), poster, official looking badges, and more! It’s very exciting! Come on down and say hello!

Say hello to the Gelkie Family!

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Arran Jam Jar
I’ve been hard at work building a bunch of Jam Jar Gelkies to bring to the Maker Faire in San Francisco this week. Here are four of them in action! Aren’t they cute?

In case you didn’t see my previous post about the Jam Jars, they are light dependent synthesizers housed inside glass jars. They are loads of fun to play, and if you’re at the Maker Faire you can play with them yourself!