A woman makes a presentation in front of a projected image.



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 2021 Seminars


Jan 25 - Teresa Marrin Nakra  

Title: Transcending the Past & Passing it Forward: creative applications of technology in music

Abstract: One of the most important concepts with which to engage in music technology is when to borrow from the past and when to transcend it. Prior models do still have a lot to teach us, even as we proceed to invent the future. The trick is to carefully select which bits to emulate and which bits to leave behind. This talk will describe my experimental approach to integrating classical music and technology, including my quantitative studies of orchestral conducting and application of gesture models to interactive music systems. I will describe the “Conductor’s Jacket” sensor interface that measured the gestures and signals of conductors, and other interactive systems for the gestural creation of music. I will also describe how I pass these ideas forward through my work with college students, and how I am taking next steps toward a more inclusive and creative approach to music-making with technology.

Bio: Teresa Marrin Nakra is the Coordinator of Music Technology and Associate Professor of Music & Interactive Multimedia at The College of New Jersey. Her courses and projects focus on creative applications of technology to music performance, composition, education, and human-centered design. Her students have gone on to advanced study in music tech grad programs, as well as careers in audio & media production, acoustics, and composition for films and video games. Teresa studied Music at Harvard, where she founded a conductor training orchestra, conducted three opera productions, and received a Michael Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. After college, she earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the MIT Media Lab with fellowships from IBM, Motorola, and Interval Research. During those years, she appeared in 160 performances of Tod Machover’s Brain Opera and served as a musical coach for Penn & Teller. Teresa has made important research contributions in the study of musical expression and gesture. She is best known for her quantitative analyses of orchestral conducting and their application to interactive music systems. Her invention, the “Conductor’s Jacket,” was featured in the MIT150 Exhibition celebrating MIT's founding, and is now held in the permanent collection of the MIT Museum. Her patent on the Digital Baton was cited as prior art for the Nintendo Wii-mote and used to defend Nintendo patents in cases heard by the International Trade Commission. Teresa has presented her work in concert with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and has built interactive conducting systems for the public to experience in museums and concert halls.

Feb 1 - Mary Farbood

Title: Timbre and Musical Tension

Abstract: This talk discusses a series of studies that explores how timbre contributes to the perception of musical tension. Tension is an aggregate of a wide range of musical and auditory features and is a fundamental aspect of how listeners interpret and enjoy music. Timbre as a contributor to musical tension has received relatively little attention from an empirical perspective compared to other musical features such as melodic contour and harmony. The studies described here explore how common timbre descriptors contribute to tension perception. Multiple features including spectral centroid, inharmonicity, and roughness were examined through listener evaluations of tension in both artificially generated stimuli and electroacoustic works by well-known composers such as Stockhausen and Nono. Timbral tension was further examined in an audiovisual context by pairing electroacoustic compositions with abstract animations.

Bio:Morwaread Farbood is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Music Technology program at New York University, where she is affiliated with the NYU Music and Audio Research Laboratory (MARL) and the Max Planck/NYU Center for Language, Music, and Emotion (CLaME). Her research focuses primarily on understanding the real-time aspects of music listening, in particular how emergent phenomena such as tonality and musical tension are perceived, in addition to developing computer applications for facilitating musical creativity based on cognitive models. Her publications have appeared in a variety of journals including Music Perception, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, and IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. As a harpsichordist, Farbood won First Prize in the 2005 Prague Spring International Harpsichord Competition and is the recipient of the Pro Musicis International Award.

Feb 8 - Asante Bradford

Bio: Asante Bradford is Project Manager for Digital Entertainment and Emerging Media for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the sales and marketing arm for the State of Georgia. The Global Commerce Division conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The division’s team also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources. Asante helps promote the growth of the digital media industry as well as identify initiatives that will help grow businesses for the state of Georgia in interactive entertainment and eSports. He also helps educate potential prospects and provide clients with information about the Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentives Act. His area of concentration with the Global Commerce office is to increase the impact of interactive entertainment for the State of Georgia as well as being a dedicated liaison to assist with promotions, logistics and business development for attracting digital media companies outside the state to relocate in Georgia.

Feb 15 - Akito Van Toyer (Alum)

Title: Music, Wonder, and Machines

Abstract: This talk describes my journey in exploring experimental interactive music systems that enable Musical Wonderers (i.e., anyone interested in music, regardless of their skill levels) to learn how to play intuitively and encourages them to develop advanced skills and sound production techniques through unguided practice. I will cover several instances of those interactive music systems such as a mixed reality environment that offers unique and rich immersive experiences, a massive musical collaboration platform that encourages players to listen to their cities and create music with environmental sounds, and an electromechanical musical instrument that transforms found objects into musical materials. This presentation will also highlight theories, methodologies, and potential applications of interactive music systems that stimulate open creativity and provide meaningful directions that guide users to learn underlying principles about music and sound manipulation.

Bio: Akito van Troyer is an Assistant Professor of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the exploration and development of new musical experiences that enrich people's lives and impact the future of human expression. Akito conducts and accomplishes his research through innovations in the fields of musical instrument design, music production, performance, and audience participation. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the MIT Media Lab in 2018, designing and building innovative interactive music systems that inspire and guide people in discovering their own musical language. Akito previously completed his Masters through the MIT Media Lab in 2012, designing new performance systems that encourage audience participation and augment the experience of audience members through interconnected networks. He also earned a Masters degree in 2010 from the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, building computer- and text-based live performance platforms for laptop orchestra.

Feb 22 - Xavier Serra

Title: Research on sound and music understanding at the MTG

Abstract: In this talk I will give an overview of the research being done at the Music Technology Group of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona related to the analysis and description of sound and music signals, combining signal processing and machine learning methods. We work both on data-driven methodologies, in which the development and use of large data collections is a fundamental aspect, and on knowledge-driven approaches, in which domain knowledge of the problem to be addressed is needed. Combining these research approaches, we are able to tackle practical problems related to automatic sound and music description, music exploration and recommendation, and tools for supporting music education.

Bio: Xavier Serra is a Professor of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies and Director of the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. After a multidisciplinary academic education, he obtained a PhD in Computer Music from Stanford University in 1989 with a dissertation on the spectral processing of musical sounds that is considered a key reference in the field. His research interests cover the computational analysis, description, and synthesis of sound and music signals, with a balance between basic and applied research and approaches from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines. Dr. Serra is very active in the fields of Audio Signal Processing, Sound and Music Computing, Music Information Retrieval and Computational Musicology at the local and international levels, being involved in the editorial board of a number of journals and conferences and giving lectures on current and future challenges of these fields. He was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council to carry out the project CompMusic aimed at promoting multicultural approaches in music information research. More info: https://www.upf.edu/web/xavier-serra

Mar 1 - Tyler WhiteRyan RoseScot Driscoll  (Alumni)

Bio:  Tyler White

As a music enthusiast and analytical thinker, Tyler sought a career merging the two. He graduated with an EE degree from Southern Polytechnic State University while working as the sole solid-state amplifier repair technician for Orange Amplifiers. He attended the GTCMT graduate program, where he was a member of the Robotic Musicianship group and held a GRA position. Here, he was a part of the Robotic Third Arm Drummer research team and responsible for the electronic, firmware, and control system design, as well as creating the interactive composition and performing with the arm. Shortly after graduation, Tyler went to work for Bose's Automotive Division as an Applied Research and Concept Development DSP Engineer. He is a part of the Active Sound Management group, which designs cancellation systems to reduce in-cabin vehicle noise, systems to enhance vehicle sounds and auditory feedback cues, demonstrates in-vehicle prototypes to OEM customers, and assists in the product development cycle. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his wife, travel, play music, snowboard, and golf.

Bio:  Ryan Rose

Ryan Rose is a musician, technologist, and tinkerer living in Cambridge, MA. By day he is a cloud software engineer at Bose, and by night he explores musical expression through connected web experiences, physical installations, robots, and more.

Bio:  Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll, a founder and development manager at Foundry 45, has been passionate about technology and teaching his whole career. After graduating with master of science degrees in mechanical engineering and music technology from Georgia Tech, he founded a DIY electronics company with a mission to enable anyone to make electronics, creating how-to videos now seen more than 16 million times. He developed a deep interest in augmented reality and virtual reality (VR) and has spent more than eight years coding and leading teams to create immersive training experiences. That includes Foundry 45, which develops enterprise-level VR training experiences for Fortune 500 companies. He has organized and run several meetups in Atlanta, including the XR Atlanta and Atlanta Bitcoin groups.

Mar 8 - Lisa MargulisTitle: Hearing Music Narratively

Bio: Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is a Professor at Princeton University, where she directs the Music Cognition Lab. Her research approaches music from the combined perspectives of music theory/musicology and cognitive science. Her book On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (Oxford University Press) received the 2014 Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory, and the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. Her latest book The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press) was published in 2018 and has been translated into Spanish, Hungarian, Japanese, and, soon, Chinese. Her cross-cultural research on narrative perceptions of music is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has been a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar.


Mar 15 - Youngmoo Kim

Title: Broadening the Impact of Music Technology

Abstract: Technology is now inseparable from media and entertainment, with entire industries emerging to provide on-demand content as well as recommendations using the content and machine learning / AI. But moving beyond streaming, novel interaction technologies and robotic systems are enabling new types of live and hybrid digital-physical artistic performances. All of these applications require not just technical knowledge, but also domain-specific expertise in music, performance, live theater, etc. At the Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center at Drexel University, we pursue transdisciplinary arts–technology collaborations, particularly with such external partners as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and Parsons Dance. In this talk, I will highlight a range of projects resulting from these collaborations, from PhD research with professional artists to fully inclusive STEAM (STEM+Arts) education programs for K-12 students, as well as new forms of creative media that have emerged from the social distancing constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bio: Youngmoo Kim is Director of the ExCITe Center at Drexel University, an institute at for transdisciplinary collaboration, and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. His research group, the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab), pursues AI for music, human-machine interfaces and robotics for expressive interaction, and STEAM education. He has also served as Resident Technologist for Opera Philadelphia and is an advisor for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was a member of the National Academies committee for “Branches from the Same Tree”, a 2018 report on the integration of the Humanities & Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education. Youngmoo also has extensive experience in vocal music performance, including performances with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and SpeakEasy Stage Company (Boston) and currently sings with The Tonics, an a cappella ensemble in Philadelphia. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, he developed Virtual Chorister, a smartphone app for remote music collaboration, and launched “Creating at a Distance”, a biweekly newsletter highlighting creative & collaborative work in the era of social distancing.

    Mar 22 - Yiting, Tess
    Mar 29 - Yihao, Sandeep
    April 5  - Yilin, Lauren
    April 12 - Amy, Daniel
    April 19 - Sophia, Mohammad
    April 26 - Laney, Rishi











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