STEIM Micro Jamboree Blog
STEIM is organising a Micro Jamboree from Dec 11 - 14, bringing together specialists in the field of sensor systems and their applications. Posts to this blog are managed by STEIM. If you want to add an entry, you can do so by emailing the text to jamboree [at] steim [dot] nl.

"Hardware Meeting" Round Up and Thoughts

Despite the short time and little budget we had to organize with, the Micro Jamboree was a great success. My main role was to organize the "Hardware Meeting" on the second day. I wanted to reflect the current state of sensor interface platforms by involving both the designers and users in an intimate session of presentations and discussions. It was a humbling experience, especially for someone who is new to STEIM like me, to meet all of these experienced developers and to bring them together at STEIM which introduced this idea of interfacing to many in the 80's with its now legendary system Sensorlab. Each designer had a unique approach and technology but shared a common motivation; to help artists materialize new ideas and expression through technology. The easiness of Arduino was of course a shock to many, especially to the musician crowd who aren't too hip with physical computing or the whole MAKE phenomenon. We had a stimulating discussion during the round-table about the artist's involvement with technology and whether there are artistic benefits in the process. I really owe my current expression to the minds and communities that make technology accessible to the non-technical, so I am in complete support for high-level prototyping tools. However, I also believe that in the process of trying to understand fundamentals in the tools or medium you work with will always give depth to artistic expression. It's pretty clear in contemporary electronic music that the relationship the artist have towards his/her gear is much more important for expression than the different features each gear offer.
It was a truly inspiring week and I would like to thank all the participants that came in from around the world to make this happen.

posted by sniff 23:30  

Applications meeting conclusion

[Blogged by Robert]

The presentations on Wednesday were ment to show a more artistic approach to the technologies as seen on Tuesday. I believe we succeeded in getting together a wide variety of artists showing their work: from installations (Peter Sinclair's Locus Sonus) via performance (CK Barlow and Per Samuelsson) and composition (Andreas Otto) to wireless control (Andrei Smirnov and Tom Tlalim and Voldemars Johanson). Despite the short sessions, it was very interesting hearing about their varied experiences with technology.

In general I think the Micro Jamboree was more than a micro success, and we're definitely thinking about the macro version!

posted by robert van heumen 14:54  

Mazen's impression of his concert with Joel

posted by robert van heumen 11:03  

Micro Jamboree Concert 2

[blogged by daniel schorno]

thursday nights jamboree concert offering was a unique fare in many ways. steim's newest artistic guest directors presented themselves musically to make our mouths water for what promises to lay ahead this coming year, while three of our finest local electro-acoustic musicians (and steim 'old guard') were sharing the bill and playing to a packed and dazzled achtergracht audience.

i had heard dj sniff perform on two previous occasions, atau tanaka once with the sensorband at 'deaf' (in 96, i believe); anne laberge and robert van heumen's new duo 'shackle' not yet (though i've played many memorable a concert together with either of them); joel ryan, one of my musical hero's in the scene countless times in his various duo formations (and - unfortunately - only once solo in oporto 2001), while mazen kerbaj was a totally new leave in my book, and a refreshing breeze at that. hearing them play side by side that night was like a kaleidoscope of some of the best 'instrumental music' the scene has had on offer over the last decade in my mind.

sniff articulates his sensitive, cooly restraint collage technique through his heterogeneous dj setup of his own invention. you look in vain for the once customary second turntable set, it's place being taken by a 'sensor scratch box' - complete with giant black rotary knob and sample and hold control. the latter feature gives him a definitive edge over two turntable spinning instrumentalists and widely extends the dialectics of his musical source material, mixing early music conrète iconography with japanese ethnic song and hiphop cuts, with copied multiples of themselves. i loved the way takuro weaved details in and out a quite masterly controlled, evolving stream of ideas, though an occasional, almost cliché like feedback heavy reverb blurred the texture at times unnecessary. while not 'bad brahms' (as taku's t-shirt reassured us), though certainly with one or two mahlerian blue spots, i found it the most perfectly proportioned offering of the evening.

another surprise was atau tanaka's fragile yet powerful stage persona, dramatically set off by simple but clever lighting, coaxing his frenzied sound with the masterly control of his arm muscle tension. i've seen dancers like celesta haraszti use emg's (electomyographic /muscle fibre tension sensor) to good effect (pamela z, i believe, also plays a bodysynth). atau's expressive freedom and the mummenschanz like mime and elegance of his hands and arms, freed of dances seeming necessity to integrate limbs into pre conceived higher order forms of 'gestalt', i found convincing on all accounts. admittedly, i had let the last of his four pieces go, as the arch of my attention span got somewhat over exerted. that didn't take away from my admiration and pleasure, seeing that he had lost non of the edge of his sensorband days.

shackle was a perfect, 'nordic' musical contrast. the duo mixed anne laberge's delicately chosen, beautifully restraint articulations and timbres from across the flute family gamut, with robert van heumen's live processing and interspersing of his trademark, hard edge, and quite unique brand of sample scratching. while i find the latter technique at times somewhat angular, it contrasted here extremely well with the mysterious shimmering quality of much of the music the duo knew to invent. anne's striking pose and robert's introvert concentration didn't disguise the fact that they were constantly listening and finely tuned to one another.

the evening was rounded off by mazen kerbaj, poised as artistic inspirer for 2007 next to atau tanaka and takuro mizuta lippit, his cornet wedged more often than not between his knees, lips gripping a standard or single reed mouth piece, connected by balloony or garden hose pipe, modulating this imaginative extension of his windpipe with utmost serious playfulness (and the aid of colorful toys), in consort with joel ryan's realtime dsp wizardry of folding mazen's extended technique sound mobilés origami style 'inside out'. i could go on about the beauty of the resulting mosaic, ever shifting hues and waves of sudden apparent frenzy, and the poetry of it all, but will stop expressing the hope of hearing more concerts of this calibre over this coming year.

the wednesday night concert must have been in a similar vein, judging by what first hand accounts came to my ears. alas i had opted for attending the first dutch cc-creative commence saloon elsewhere that night...

posted by robert van heumen 10:00  

Micro Jamboree - Posts per day
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006

Condensed Micro Jamboree program:

Monday Dec 11: LiSa - current and future developments
Tuesday Dec 12: Hardware Meeting - Platforms for connectivity, creativity and community
Wednesday Dec 13: Applications Meeting - Presentations about the practice of using sensor systems

Wednesday Dec 13: Tom Verbruggen, Uli Böttcher & Paul Hubweber, Christine Sehnaoui & Michel Waisvisz
Thursday Dec 14: Taku Mizuta Lippit, Shackle, Atau Tanaka, Joel Ryan & Mazen Kerbaj

Monday Dec 11 - Thursday Dec 14: Locus Sonus & Tom Verbruggen

Full program

STEIM Open Days:
Saturday & Sunday Dec 16 & 17 from 11:00h-18:00h

Simon de Bakker, Frank Baldé, Massimo Banzi, CK Barlow, Uli Böttcher, Lex van den Broek, Emmanuel Flety, Robert van Heumen, Paul Hubweber, Voldemars Johansons, Mazen Kerbaj, Anne LaBerge, Takuro Mizuta Lippit, META (Making Electronic Thingies Amsterdam), Andreas Otto, Dan Overholt, Joel Ryan, Per Samuelsson, Christine Sehnaoui, Peter Sinclair & Locus Sonus (Brett Bhalogh, Nico Bralet, Lydwine Van der Hulst), Andrei Smirnov, Stock, Atau Tanaka, Tom Tlalim, Tom Verbruggen, Michel Waisvisz, Rene Wassenburg...


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