The Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology Seminar Series features both invited speakers as well as student project presentations. The seminars are on Mondays from 1:55 - 2:45 p.m. in the West Village Dining Commons, Room 175, on Georgia Tech's campus and are open to the public.
Spring 2022 Seminars
January 10 - Mark Riedl - Entertainment Intelligence Lab, Georgia Tech
Abstract: Computational creativity is the art, science, philosophy and engineering of computational systems which, by taking on particular responsibilities, exhibit behaviors that unbiased observers would deem to be creative. In this talk, we look at some of the particular properties that AI systems might need to be considered creative. I illustrate these properties through the lens of current research in automated story generation. I conclude the talk by discussing a method for gauging progress in building computational creativity systems
Bio: Dr. Mark Riedl is a Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing and Associate Director of the Georgia Tech Machine Learning Center. Dr. Riedl’s research focuses on human-centered artificial intelligence—the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that understand and interact with human users in more natural ways. Dr. Riedl’s recent work has focused on story understanding and generation, computational creativity, explainable AI, and teaching virtual agents to behave safely.
January 17 - MLK Day
January 24 - Joycelyn Willson - Hip Hop Studies, Georgia Tech (Virtual)
Title: Understanding Hip Hop at 50 and Why it Matters
Abstract: Hip hop is trending, and it has been since at least the early 1990s. To get really nit picky about it, rap music has had a grip on popular culture since 1982 when “The Message” dropped as the first hip hop song with political commentary. Then, it peaked at number 62 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and stayed there for 7 weeks, as “Planet Rock” peaked on Billboard's Hot 100 two months later at number 48 and spent 11 weeks on the chart. Forty years later, Cardi B’s “Up” sat at #2 for weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, and hip hop/r&B is responsible for 25% of the music consumption as rock steadies at 23%. Trap music - as a benchmark for representing the cultural lifestyle and political proclivities of a generation - has remained one of Atlanta’s most significant contributions to global hip hop. It’s safe to say the grip Hip Hop has on music and culture is now more like a stronghold - a stronghold that is amplified across industries outside of music including education, technology, politics, design thinking, and architecture. How was an artform/lifestyle/way of looking at the world/generation/culture gotten so big that, as a music genre, has surpassed rock n roll? What is it about its adaptive qualities that map so perfectly to areas like advertising and marketing such that Flo-rida’s “Low” is remixed as a Kroger greatest hit? What is hip hop, proper, and how does it work?
Bio: Joycelyn Wilson is an integrative curriculum designer, essayist, music journalist, and assistant professor of hip hop studies and digital media in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. She is an expert in African-American music and performance, Black maker culture, as well as African-American education and schooling in the American South. She also focuses on the culture, race, and technology of her home city Atlanta. Her scholarship has implications across STEAM, methodologies of humanistic inquiry, archival preservation, and curriculum design; areas that been published across academic and popular platforms including Teachers College Press, UGA Press, International Journal of Africana Studies, and Routledge. Her essays on culture, arts, and technology have been published by Billboard, The Root, InStyle, and Google Arts & Culture. Dr. Wilson is a co-producer of the Emmy-nominated docufilm “Walking With Guns, produced in collaboration with UN Ambassador and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young. Her current research leverages the connections between hip hop's techno-pedagogical affordances and relationships to design thinking in computational and creative media-making. She has contributed commentary to MSBNC, Netflix's Hip Hop Evolution, VH1's ATL Rise, and TV-One's UnSung. Beyond pop culture, Atlanta hip-hop and hip-hop’s intersection with politics and culture, Dr. Wilson examines the cultural histories of civil rights and social justice in the South, Black maker culture/design thinking, media, and technology. She is the founder of the Four Four Beat Labs and HipHop2020 Innovation Archive, and available to broadly discuss topics related to digital archiving and preservation.
January 31 - Rick Beato - Music YouTuber
Abstract: This talk will center around a conversation on the impact of technology in recorded music and the relative impact of those changes on music’s ability to communicate. Quantized and auto-tuned current music is often referred to as having been made “more perfect” but as it communicates less I’d argue that it is in fact less perfect. It will close with a discussion, leading into questions from the audience, about the idea of a Turing test for music.
Bio: Rick Beato is an American YouTube personality, music professional, and educator. Since the early 1980s, he has worked variously as a musician, songwriter, audio engineer and record producer. Beato lives in Georgia, United States. He has written songs with, and produced music for, a variety of musical artists, including Needtobreathe, Parmalee, and Shinedown.
Beato was born into a large family from Rochester, New York. He studied at Ithaca College, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in music. He earned a master's degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1987.
Beato began his YouTube career in 2015 after posting a video of his eldest child, Dylan, who is able to identify individual notes within complex chords after just one hearing.This video of his son's display of perfect pitch received 21 million views, causing Beato to decide to parlay his social media fame into a full-fledged YouTube channel. He posted his first YouTube video on June 8, 2016. On August 27, 2019, Beato received the Golden Play Button from YouTube when he achieved 1 million subscribers. As of August 2021, the YouTube channel has 2.5 million subscribers.
Beato's channel is under his own name, although he introduces every video with the title "Everything Music". One series in the channel is called What Makes This Song Great?, in which Beato deconstructs and discusses the elements of popular songs. The videos in the series regularly get over one million views.
In one video, Beato enlists the help of Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X and virtuoso guitarist Eric Johnson to re-interpret the guitar solo on Led Zeppelin's iconic "Stairway to Heaven". Beato and Phil X play the guitar solo in the styles of Peter Frampton and Eddie Van Halen, respectively, while Johnson plays it in his own style.
Beato has been vocal about what he believes are problems with the enforcement of copyright law, and its application on the YouTube platform. Several of his videos, including those about Radiohead and Fleetwood Mac, were issued take-down notices because of copyright claims.
In July 2020, Beato testified about his experiences on YouTube before a United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary reviewing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act considering limitations and exceptions like fair use.
February 7 - Mike Winters - Microsoft Research, Alum (Virtual)
How can we design musical instruments that help us solve the most pressing issues facing humanity? I think music’s capacity to elicit empathy may help. In this talk, I will present my work over several years expressing social, affective and neurophysiological signals through sound. I will introduce this topic through a "Sonification of Emotion," which uses musical cues to convey continuous arousal and valence measures. I will then generalize the approach and show how sound can be used to display emotional information in a range of complex systems and processes, from activations in Convolutional Neural Networks to the realtime neural synchrony. I will also present the results of a study on auditory heartbeats, which demonstrates the ability for even simple musical cues like tempo to elicit empathic responses. When applied as an empathic technology, music may help connect us to the affective information in processes and systems we can't normally hear.
R. Michael Winters is a Post Doctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research, part of the Audio & Acoustics and Brain-Computer Interface Groups. Before joining Microsoft, Mike was a research affiliate at the Socioneural Physiology Lab, part of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. In 2020, he graduated with a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was part of the Brain Music Lab, Sonification Lab and Robotic Musicianship Group. Prior to that he received an MA from McGill University where he worked at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) in the Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab (IDMIL). Over the years he has consulted at interned with a variety of industrial research partners including Sennheiser, Microsoft Research, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Hop Labs and the PhET Project. He has developed numerous instruments that support learning, performance and social connection through novel auditory experiences with information. His research spans behavioral psychology and neurophysiology at the frontiers of audio interaction design (AUX) for mobile brain/body interfaces (MoBI), artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR).
February 14 - Eran Egozy - MIT, Harmonix Co-founder (Virtual)
Bio: E RAN EGOZY , Professor of the Practice in Music Technology, is an entrepreneur, musician, and technologist. He is the co - founder and chief scientist of Harmonix Music Systems, the music - based video game company that created the revolutionary titles Guitar Hero , Rock Band , and Dance Central with sales in excess of one billion dollars. Eran and his business partner Alex Rigopulos were named in Time Magazine's Time 100 and Fortune Magazine's Top 40 Under 40. Eran is also an accomplished clarinetist, performing regularly with Radi us Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, and freelancing in the Boston area. Prior to starting Harmonix, Eran earned degrees in Electrical Engineering and Music from MIT, where he conducted research on combining music and technology at the MIT Media Lab. Now back at M IT, his research and teaching interests include interactive music systems, music information retrieval, and multimodal musical expression and engagement. His current research project, ConcertCue, is a program - note streaming mobile app for live classical mu sic concerts that has been featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.
February 21 - Walker Davis, Alex Mitchel - Co-founders Boomy (Virtual)
Title: Powering the Next 100 Billion Songs with Music Automation
Abstract: Boomy is a music creation and distribution platform that enables users of any experience level to produce and publish original music. Founder and CEO Alex Mitchell will discuss Boomy’s business model and strategy. Director of Music Automation Walker Davis will present algorithmic approaches to composition and mixing/production.
Alex Jae Mitchell is the founder and CEO of Boomy Corporation (boomy.com), a company developing music automation technologies using artificial intelligence. Mitchell is a serial music entrepreneur who previously founded Audiokite Research, the leading market research platform for independent music. Mitchell has worked with a number of music and media brands in consulting and advisory capacities, including Artiphon, Shady Records / Goliath Artists, DotBC/Verifi Media, Reflex Group, Krantz Media Group, Infinite Album, Riff, and others.
Boomy Director of Music Automation, Walker Davis, is a multi-instrumentalist, hip hop/electronic music producer, algorithmic composer, and visual artist. He received his Bachelor’s of Music from UC Irvine in Jazz Saxophone Performance, and his Master’s of Arts in Music, Science, Technology from CCRMA, Stanford. Walker’s work at Boomy includes low-level audio software development, algorithmic composition and mixing design/implementation, and content creation of all things music-related.
February 28 - Jeannette Yen - Biologically Inspired Design Lab, Georgia Tech
March 7 - Hsing Hung, Nitin, Bryce
March 14 - Jiarui Xu, Rhythm, Matthew
March 21 - Spring Break
March 28 - Kelian, Rosa, Qinying
March 4 - Virgil, Jason Smith
April 11 - John, Amber
April 18 - Amit, Tim
April 25 - Alison, Mason