It was so exciting to have some of the most brilliant and creative hackers attend to take part in this year’s challenges, which were set by Spotify, SoundCloud, RCA Records, FXpansion, Levels Entertainment and CISCO for these exceptionally talented people to rise to.
As always, we welcomed experimentation and randomness and we weren’t left disappointed.
The Spotify challenge was to create a “3D playlist” inside Spotify and win a year’s Spotify premium subscription. Alex Wakeman stepped up and embraced this challenge, creating a great visualisation hack which introduces listeners to new music via a rotating galaxy of related spheres. (Try the 3D playlist )
For SoundCloud’s “best noise in da house” challenge, Simon Carella and Davide Totaro from StereoMood took away a SoundCloud Pro account for their winning endeavour created from comments listeners had posted on tracks. You can view it here:
RCA Records put forward the ‘Make Music With Everything Everything’ challenge. Audio stems from the band Everything Everything were provided to our hackers to mix, chop, slice or basically create new music as they saw fit. The challenge also provided a great opportunity to work with RCA to develop the idea further. Jake Dubber responded with this terrific remix that caught the judges’ ears. Have a listen:
Speaking of fun, Juanjo Bosch and Alvaro Sarasua created ‘Facegoat’ to demonstrate the capabilities of facial recognition technology. This hack really made us smile. Check it out:
Cisco posed a “best new musical instrument” challenge, asking the hackers to let their creativity flow and create a new instrument – and offering an iPad mini and Cisco router as incentive. Last year, Adam Williams created a custom bass synth Bukkako 5000 and he returned to astound us again with “Quirkuitar”, a software synthesizer with a wireless iPad based guitar-style controller, which snatched the grand prize for best new instrument.
As an added bonus, the hack camp also managed to attract one of our presenters Andrew Dubber. The “reinvent music radio” challenge sufficiently aroused Andrew’s curiosity as he had been researching extensively in that area. The challenge by Levels Entertainment: can you develop an alternative to radio that allows independent labels to promote their music to the public? So Dubber decided to join into the spirit of good old tinkering, teaming up with an incredible designer Jedidiah to hatch the concept of Radiatr a mobile platform that effectively solves the problems raised in the hack challenge.
“Grapevine” by Jack Armitage, Coby Sey and Kyle Molleson, used audiovisual looping with Vine. Kainan Chen and Yunong Pang created an instrument by allowing abstract shapes to be drawn and played to various effects on an iPad canvas.
Thanks to all our sponsors, to Robert Kaye of MusicBrainz for leading the camp and Jonathan Marmor from the Monthly Music Hackathon NYC for judging – and a special word of gratitude to all the music hackers who participated in the hack camps. We hope to see you back again next year.