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Rewire 2019:

Instrumental Shifts Symposium

Friday 29 March 2019 — 01:00

Taking place on Friday, 29 March, the Instrumental Shifts Symposium will explore new frontiers of computer science, music, and future technologies. Organised by The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision RE:VIVE initiative, Rewire and West Den Haag, the one-day programme will bring together leading researchers, academics and artists to lift the hood on the dynamic facets of artificial intelligence and how they contribute to evolving creative processes.

Behind every great technology resides a trove of meticulous experimenting, testing, analysing and recalculating. The final tools and software that artists use to create new work depends on this never-ending cycle of research and development. The Instrumental Shifts Symposium at Rewire 2019 will showcase the nuts and bolts behind this process. Opening with Prof. Thor Magnusson and followed by a keynote by Prof. Mick Grierson, talks by Dr. Róisín Loughran and Prof. Bob Sturm, artist presentations by Ash Koosha and Laura Agnusdei, a series of lightning talks, and a panel discussion, the symposium will question the creativity of artificial intelligence networks, demonstrate how we train generative systems, and advocate for growing partnerships between the creative and academic worlds.

The Instrumental Shifts Symposium takes place on Friday, 29 March at West’s new location at the former American Embassy on the Lange Voorhout 102, The Hague. Attendance is free, but registration is required as spaces are limited. There will also be a complimentary lunch as well as refreshments and a borrel to conclude the day.



In his opening address, Dr. Thor Magnusson, Head of Music at the University of Sussex, will present his book, ‘Sonic Writing’, and examine how contemporary music technologies trace their ancestry to previous forms of instruments and media.


One of creative computings’ leading experts, Professor Mick Grierson of Goldsmiths Digital and University of the Arts London’s Creative Computing Lab detail his work on Massive Attack’s 20th anniversaryof ‘Mezzanine’ and describe the technological challenges of producing CD quality output from neural networks.

lightning round

Pivoting to a flurry of short lightning talks from researchers based in The Netherlands, this lightning round will cover the role of music information retrieval in chord identification, machine learning practices for generative film scores, and an interactive and generative system based on traditional Japanese music theory.

13:30 – 14:15 | Bob Sturm lecture

A leader in the field of building machine learning models of folk music from Ireland and Sweden,Professor Bob Sturm of Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology will outline how he works to apply these models in different musical contexts and will address the ethical questions raised by such work.

artist presentation

Directly after, Laura Agnusdei, a musician and researcher at the Sonology Department at the Royal Conservatoire will debut a new performance based on the output of Bob Sturm’s Folk RNN (Recurrent Neural Network) project.

14:30 – 15:00 |Dr. Róisín Loughran lecture

A Senior Researcher at University College Dublin’s Natural Computing Research and Applications Group,Dr. Róisín Loughran will explore the creative limitations of generative music and how we can best measure and assess the outputs from these systems.

15:00 – 15:30 | Enrique Manjavacaslecture

Enrique Manjavacas is a PhD student in Computational Linguistics at the University of Antwerp. In his talk, he will explore current methods and research on text generation with artistic purposes, zeroing in on Language Modeling and the use of artificial neural networks to generate hip-hop lyrics.

artist presentation

London-based electronic musician and technologist Ash Koosha is known for his unique VR sound sculptures and computer-generated compositions. Introducing his latest creation, Yona, at Rewire 2019, his Instrumental Shifts Symposium presentation will showcaseYona’s creative engine, a combination of generative softwares and high-end production methodologies.

16:00 – 17:00 | Dick Rijken, Ash Koosha, Dr. Róisín Loughran + Maaike Harberspanel discussion

The Instrumental Shifts Symposium will conclude with a panel discussion that forecasts where we are going as artists, researchers and technologists. Moderated by STEIM Director Dick Rijken, the panel will reflect on the benefits of partnerships between artists and knowledge institutions, the limitations of technology and how we can overcome these barriers, how we can be ethical and whether it even matters.

Practical Information

• Date: Friday, 29 March
• Time: 10:00 – 17:00
• Location: West Den Haag,Lange Voorhout 102, Den Haag
• Registrations are full, but there is a waiting list

Register for waiting list