I first heard about STEIM from my lecturer, Brian O’Reilly, while I was doing my undergraduate study at LaSalle College of The Arts, Singapore. It was introduced to me as an instrument-research facility for electronic musicians in Amsterdam, dealing mostly with sensory controllers. After watching some of the videos, my initial impression was that STEIM was an intriguing institution (still is) that challenges the robust model of how electronic music is performed.
Upon my arrival at STEIM, I was introduced to some of the most awesome people I’ll ever know – staff of STEIM, the diverse styles and nature of the invited artists and my fellow workshop attendees. Each individual has their unique ideals and methodologies in electronic music, which inspires me a lot. It also enables me to experience the vastness of what electronic music comprises of. The talks given by the members of STEIM gave me a better understanding of STEIM’s vision and mission, as well as its artistic ideals and values. This gave me a much clearer idea of other potentials that can be explored at STEIM. The visiting artists brought us their experience with STEIM’s software, working practices and the different approaches to instrument building, composing, etc. I enjoyed all of the talks and definitely learnt a lot from the artists. Particularly the one with Kristina Andersen on Interaction Design, we were asked to draw an image out what our music is like, and later to make an object either to represent it or to make the kind of sound that may exist in our music. I find this exercise really useful and drives one to omit and not consider too much about the tools we already have and existed to just try and produce the final product. I find myself often when composing or designing a new patch for performance, we look about and get distracted by all the ‘already-made’ tools (which are great). This process further helps me to identify what is required and necessary.
As kyle had posted (if you missed it, or you can always listen again.), this is an improvisation by kyle on arduino controllers and myself on a logitech joystick both using LiSa and JunXion. This initial experimentation gave me a look and feel of how easy working on LiSa and Junxion can be, as well as how controls can be mapped to a more intricate extent.
Here is my fiddling with EMS’s VCS3 (thanks nico!) : here.
Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone at STEIM during the period of Orientation Workshop #108 for making it such an enjoyable stay. Also, for the opportunity to coming to Europe and experience electronic music from one of the places where it began. This truly is an amazing experience. Cheers!