Inventing Instruments: The Mind–Music Connection in Design

by · Sep 16, 2016 · 327 views ·

The evolution of the electronic musical instrument is an inflection point in how we imagine humans relate to machines. It's intertwined with the emergence in the 20th century of our conception of robotics, of user interface, and interaction. We will consider how the human/machine model was first conceived in musical instruments, how musicians use that model to conceive their own relationship to expression, and how it might change in light of new developments in machine learning and a new conception of the role of the electronic device. Peter Kirn is an audiovisual artist, technologist, and journalist. He is the editor of CDM ( and, and co-creator of the open source MeeBlip hardware synthesizer ( His work ranges from teaching creative coding with open tools to making experimental live techno, and as a writer has been a hub of discussion of trends in live and interactive visuals, and the design of new music technologies. Kirn leads the MusicMaker’s Hacklab at CTM Festival, a 6-day open, collaborative environment in which participants learn about new technologies and get their hands on making their own musical inventions.

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