A robotic 808. Talk with the creator, Monday afternoon.

For five days in the Projektraum, Kunstquartier Bethanien, MusicMakers is hosting hands-on, collaborative development, public presentations by artists and developers, and a unique wearable technology event, as part of Club Transmediale (CTM) 2013. Here’s our full program.

“Indeterminism Machines”

Machines in music making are a means of externalizing musical will and composition. They connect thought and sound in ways that become more physical, more visible, more improvisatory and live. They escape the deterministic fixed world of the score – and the traditional recording. They are inventions that ensure musical outcomes are governed by humans and by chance. To experiment with making music in this age, you first want to experiment with making the machines that make the music.

The MusicMakers Hacklab at CTM.13 is an open, collaborative environment in which participants can learn about new technologies and get their hands on making their own musical inventions. It’s a space in which people can build a rapid prototype of anything they imagine, creating new ideas around music making and creation, from composition to performance and DJing. MusicMakers is curated by Peter Kirn of, with the collaboration of design platform SemiDomesticated and sound artist and General Assistant Derek Holzer.

We’re inviting people across media to encourage collaboration: musicians, developers, artists, designers, people working in skills like sound and music, but also code, fashion, visuals, and industrial design and craft.

Full schedule:

OVERVIEW, 25.01 – 01.02

Friday, 25.01
19h-24h: MR-808 Drum Machine, on view as part of the CTM exhibition opening.

Monday, 28.01
14h: Moritz Simon Geist (DE). A discussion of robotics, automation, and music.
16h: Peter Kirn (US). Open source technologies for music hardware and software.

Tuesday, 29.01
11h: The Musical Gloves Project, with Imogen Heap (UK) and team.
14h: Inside the Design Process at Native Instruments. With Florian Schneidmadel (Head of Research and Design) and Gösta Wellmer (Head of User Interface Design). Followed by Reaktor, OSC, and the iPad. With NI developers Gwydion Apdafydd and Clément Destephen.
17h Controlling everything in Live: a workshop. With Christian Kleine, Ableton.

Wednesday, 30.01
14h: Ali Demirel (TR). Visual performance for Richie Hawtin: tools and concepts.
16h: Lucas Abela (AU). Playing with tape: talk and workshop.

Thursday, 31.01
14h: Mark Fell (UK). Artist talk.
16h: Keith Fullerton Whitman (US). Artist talk.

Friday, 01.02
12h: Tim Exile (UK). Artist talk.
14h: Miles Whittaker (Demdike Stare, Modern Love). Artist talk.
16h: Performances by participants in the Gloves Project.
17h: Work from the hacklab.

FRIDAY, 25.01
From 19h, CTM exhibition opening

Sonic Robots’ MR-808 drum machine, by Moritz Simon Geist, is a robotic, oversized, “real” rendition of the 808 drum machine – bass drums are real bass drums, and a clap is made by a mechanical construction. The MR-808 will be visible during the CTM exhibition opening and performing sequenced percussion. See it with the whole band, Science Fiction Children, at Berghain Kantine on the evening of 01.02.

MONDAY-FRIDAY, 28.01 – 01.02
Hacklab opens 11h, closes 20h (closes 18h Friday)
Freely open to participants (based on available space, first come, first served)
Free and open to the public, 12h-18h (space limited)
Surprise workshops, presentations, and discussions daily, in addition to those scheduled.

MONDAY, 28.01
Laboratory kickstart.

10:00 Participant introduction / breakfast
Collaborative session.
Rapid-fire talks and pitches, and a discussion of goals for the week – an opportunity for participants to plan their week, find participants, and imagine what they want to create.

14:00 Moritz Simon Geist (DE)
Marvin Sings The Blues: a discussion of robotics.
Automation and robotics are applied to new musical instruments in astounding ways. Geist surveys this musical landscape, and talks about the construction of his giant MR-808 robotic installation, featured in the CTM exhibition and MusicMakers performance.

16:00 Peter Kirn (US)
Workshop on open technologies for software, hardware.
How free and open source technologies can become a shared platform for developing with others. A tour of two tools the artist helped develop, in software (libpd, an embeddable version of Pure Data) and hardware (MeeBlip), with an eye toward how they can be used in the course of the hacklab.

TUESDAY, 29.01
Inside technology and process.

11:00 The Musical Gloves Project, with Imogen Heap (UK)
An introduction to The Gloves.
Introductory tutorials on how to connect and use The Gloves software with a range of existing software, kicking off the first of five days of an interactive workshop with the team behind this new wearable technology for music.

14:00 Native Instruments (DE)
Inside the Design Process at Native Instruments.
Florian Schneidmadel (Head of Research and Design) and Gösta Wellmer (Head of User Interface Design) provide a rare look at the how Native Instruments designs their products for musicians, collaboratively.

Reaktor, OSC, and the iPad.
In a workshop, NI developers Gwydion Apdafydd and Clément Destephen will talk about the OpenSoundControl protocol and the new integration they designed into Reaktor. They’ll show how you can use this protocol to touch sound via iPad applications.

17:00 Ableton (DE)
Controlling everything in Live: a workshop.
Christian Kleine, Ableton developer and sound artist and Max for Live guru, shows at how to take control of almost any aspect of Live in performance. Opening up custom performance and compositional opportunities, Kleine will provide insights into the meanings and possibilities of Live’s API tools.

One medium to another.

14:00 Ali Demirel (TR)
Visual performance for Richie Hawtin: tools and concepts.
Visual architect Ali M. Demirel shares his custom-developed software 2V-P, which he created with artist and programmer Pascal LeSport. Through a discussion of the tool and his techniques, Demirel illuminates the live performance ideology which he has developed over years of collaboration with Richie Hawtin, and how he relates visuals to music.

16:00 Lucas Abela (AU)
Playing with tape: talk and workshop.
Sound artist and live musician Lucas Abela talks about his works with magnetic tape media, including those in the CTM exhibition. Then, get in on the action, with a workshop on how to build your own “play station” — his unique tape head machine.

Generative constructions.

14:00 Mark Fell (UK)
Artist talk.
Mark Fell’s live experimental music work relies on generative systems, built in Max/MSP. Known as half of the Sheffield duo SND, here, Fell allows an intimate look at his solo performance approach, as he demonstrates his techniques and creations.

16:00 Keith Fullerton Whitman (US)
Artist talk.
If Fell works in software, Whitman works in hardware, applying generative concepts to hardware-based electronic music. A conversation with the artist on his approach to generative composition – the perfect indeterminism machines of our theme.

FRIDAY, 01.02
Going live.

12:00 Tim Exile (UK)
Custom creations for live performance. A tour of the London-based artist’s uncommon live rig.
Tim Exile will present his self-programmed Reaktor live looping setup (source of both The Finger and The Mouth) in technical detail. The patch will be shared for participants to hack and/or map to their own interface using OSC. Tim and co-developer Ash Dorey will be on hand to help out with technical questions.

14:00 Demdike Stare
Miles Whittaker (Demdike Stare, Modern Love) presents an inside look at how he works with production and custom instruments in Ableton Live. We join him on the eve of the world premiere audiovisual performance by the Demdike Stare exclusively at Haus der Kulturen der Welt for CTM and transmediale 2013.

16:00 Participants from the Gloves Workshop
Wearable tech, in action.
As the conclusion to the Gloves Workshop, an ensemble performance/demo by the participants.

17:00 Work from the Hacklab
Indeterminism Machines, for the first time in the world.
Capping off a week of invention and experimentation, the hacklab’s diverse participants will show the fruits of their labors in a series of demo/presentations and performances.