Andrew Dubber

On the 1st of June, directly after the Music Tech Fest Scandinavia, scholars from around the world and across a wide range of different fields came together to meet, discuss their research at the intersection of music and technology – and to form a new international, interdisciplinary research network: #MTFResearch.

At this meeting, we brainstormed a new field of academic enquiry that incorporated a wide range of studies, but which allowed for cross-disciplinary work based on some core principles that we could all agree on. These principles are formalised in the Manifesto for the Future of Music Technology Research coordinated by Nancy Baym and Jonathan Sterne, and drafted amongst 21 academics at the first Music Tech Fest academic symposium “afterparty” in Boston at Microsoft Research in March 2014. On the basis of this manifesto, a list of potential research projects for the community were proposed at the Music Tech Fest academic symposium at Queen Mary, University of London in September.

At #MTFScandi, the new field of Human Music Interaction (HMI) was proposed and quickly embraced by the community. It’s a work in progress, and I am in the process of collating the ideas from the meeting in order to write an article (in partnership with computer scientist Petter Ericson) that lays out its core tenets – but it brings together computer science, musicology, cultural studies, history, media studies, medicine, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Music Information Retrieval (MIR), the social sciences and more.

The group who met in UmeĆ„, Sweden (above) helped developed the parameters for the field as well as some potential avenues for research – and this group forms the basis for the new research network, which includes not only includes established scholars, but also welcomes early career academics and PhD students as well as researchers from industry. The #MTFResearch community is growing quickly and is bringing in participants who have attended Music Tech Fest events in Berlin, Paris, London, Boston and Sweden – as well as scholars from Australia, the Netherlands and beyond.

The next Music Tech Fest event is in Ljubljana: Music Tech Fest Central Europe (#MTFCentral) at Cankarjev Dom (18-20 September), and we will be holding the next symposium and meeting of the newly formed research network directly following the 3-day festival on Monday 21st September at +MSUM – the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art.

The symposium is free to attend, but places are limited. For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite page – and if you suspect your work may overlap with the field of Human Music Interaction – then you would be very welcome to join us.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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