Inside Innovation in Music 2015

As Cambridge’s Anglia Ruskin University is playing host to 2015’s Innovation in Music event, AMI had the pleasure of stepping inside its doors for an up-close look during the second day of the proceedings.

Running from 7 – 9 June, the event is bringing together some of the sharpest minds in the industry to explore how music and sound can be applied to further the fields of art, education, performance, therapy and more. The day began with a keynote speech by noted artist, producer and recording/mix engineer David Wrench, where he discussed his pathway into production, his unique methodology and his key projects, which include debuts from FKA twigs and Jungle last year.

Throughout the afternoon attending industry professionals took turns to present papers to one another in a series of seminars; of particular note was Matt Shevlock’s presentation on ‘Gestalt Mixing’, which applied Gestalt theory to inform creative approaches to the mixing process. Shevlock explained how this can be used to understand the fundamental differences in what creates a perceived sound: frequency, time and perceived location, and how they can be approached through the use of techniques such as reverb and panning. This knowledge was then extended to explain the advantages and disadvantages of mixing multiple sounds in to a single bus, in accordance with the human ear’s limited ability to distinguish certain audio similarities.

The event also hosted an audio installation in the form of Theremin Bollards, a bollard-shaped device which emits sound in relation to objects in its proximity. The device can be customised via software and will be present in the London Science Museum from October 2016 as part of a ten-year installation, with a view to utilising it in the fields of performance, education and musical therapy.

AMI sat down with event co-chair Russ Hepworth-Sawyer (pictured, above) to get his thoughts on the day, and he couldn’t be happier.

“It’s been brilliant,” he told us, explaining that there are big things planned for next year. “We’ll probably stretch more into the business direction because even today we’ve got iTunes launching a new streaming platform, and every week there’s new things about how music consumption is going to happen – that’s a big area. The big thing for 2015 and ’16 is the journal; we’ll have a bi-annual journal from the conferences in addition to our proceedings.”

Overall the organisers were pleased with the event’s success, and hope to channel its gathering momentum with much more room to grow: “It’s a bigger community that’s growing every year. This is only the second incarnation; we look forward to the future,” Hepworth-Sawyer concluded.