At Music Tech Fest Boston back in March, one of the hack challenges we set was to make something that brings synaesthesia to music. Connect the senses. Think about music as texture, colour, scent… Consider concepts like dark and bright, rich and warm.
That was the challenge. The response was beyond our expectations.
The BBC’s LJ Rich had come to Boston to take part in the festival and cover it for BBC Click. Festival founder Michela Magas suggested that LJ not just report on the festival and the hackathon, but actually get involved. Hack. Make something. That was a very good idea.
After all - LJ’s smart, musically minded - and, it turned out, synaesthetic.
According to LJ, Music Tech Fest was “life-changing”. At the festival, she found her tribe. She met the people who understood her crossed senses between food and music - and heard “dataset”.
That was the beginning of a fantastic new musical, sensorial journey she’s on. One that has taken her in a whole new direction, changed the way she thinks about music, technology and the world around her - and has led to her new life as synaesthetic composer, hacker and developer - as she explains at her recent TEDx talk in Tokyo.
In Boston, she met Sean Manton and CJ Carr - fellow hackers at the festival, and together they developed ‘glitching’ - a way of hearing and sharing an enhanced reality of the world through music. That was just the beginning. The next step: wearable technology that helps her share how she hears andcomposes the environment.
One of the things we’re most excited about at Music Tech Fest is that ideas start there and grow to have a life beyond the hack camp. We’re looking forward to having LJ back at the festival to share with us where she’s taken her musical reality.
And, of course, we’re looking forward to finding out what else will happen next in our amazing community as they think about and develop new ways of expressing, experiencing, creating and sharing music.