Sunhouse Wants To Empower Musicians With AI




Much of the technology built for music creators in the last 30 years hasn’t been made with the musician in mind – unless you’re thinking about DJ’s or producers. If you’re a drummer, guitarist or a flautist, there are limited tools available that speak the unique musical language you may have already learned with the mastery of your instrument.


Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) do exist in music, however, many are focused on automation, not collaboration. PopGun, a venture-funded startup uses AI to aid in pop music songwriting, while Ampr, another company in the space focuses on music solutions at an enterprise level generating content for film and commercial work.


One company started by musicians and technologists is creating AI tools to empower musicians, not replace them – starting with drummers as the entry point. Sunhouse, started by 3 Chicanx siblings from Los Angeles are using their experience as outsiders to welcome musicians into the fold.


The Sunhouse trio, Tlacael, Tenoch and Tonantzin Esparza founded the company in 2015 via Kickstarter. After raising over $94k in less than one month, the team began production of their first product, Sensory Percussion – a machine learning-based system turning drum sets into entire production suites. Players for Maroon 5, Herbie Hancock, Panic at the Disco, Common, and Nas now use Sensory Percussion for touring, composing and jamming.


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Children Learn How To Make Music Thanks To Denver Startup




A Denver startup is hoping to revolutionize how kids learn to make music. Musiquest has now reached more than 300,000 students.


“We sort of did the easier thing first; in showing we could build a product that would work in schools where there were teachers. Now, we’re doing the harder thing, which is supporting a child learning about music in their own home whether there’s an adult present or not,” Zax said.


“What technology allows us to do is actually compose or produce or create songs. But that’s very new because before we had technology, we had no ability to offer that to beginners,” Zax said.


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Are ‘Microbe-Grown Headphones’ the Future of Sustainable Audio Technology?



Korvaa headphones were grown using fungus and a yeast-based bioplastic grown by microbes.  Biodegradable, landfill-free electronics sound like a good idea for the future.


Finnish studio Aivan worked in collaboration with scientists to create the microbially grown headphones. There are six different substances at play here, and they were designed to showcase the potential of synthetic biology to create a sustainable future.


The idea is to move away from the culture of planned obsolescence in electronics, where old is disposed for new on a regular schedule.  Finnish design house Aivan said nature produces some of the most durable and most versatile substances known to man, so they set out to figure out how to harness that power.


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FY2019 Annual Report is Out!


Fiscal year 2019 has passed and it’s time to report on how Texas Music Partners did in its second year (first full year) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  It’s a short read so you don’t have to shy away.


To read or download the annual report click here or on the picture.

A Farewell for iTunes




iTunes was surrounded by family and friends at Apple’s annual developer conference when Apple executives announced that it would be dismantled, and its features would be split among three apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.


iTunes entered this world 18 years ago as a “digital jukebox” that let users import their favorite CDs, organize their libraries and burn custom mixes. It then became a music store of its own — a magical, one-click emporium where 99 cents could get you almost any song under the sun. Steve Jobs heralded its birth as the dawn of a new age of media consumption, one in which consumers would own the digital rights to their own music.


But nothing gold can stay. And in the early part of this decade, subscription music services like Spotify and Pandora, which offered an all-you-can-eat bacchanal of music for a monthly subscription fee, began to eat away at Apple’s advantage.


Ultimately, Mr. Jobs’ prophecy was wrong. People wanted to rent access to a centralized streaming library, not pay a small fee to own every song. As streaming services grew, sales of music downloads plummeted. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, downloads now make up a smaller percentage of recording sales than physical albums


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Class of 2019: Marcha Kiatrungrit’s Pursuits Fuse Art and Technology



Marcha Kiatrungrit has a three-pronged approach toward living life to its fullest: persistence in everything she does, a willingness to always try something new, and determination to never over-think what she does.


It has served her well. The soon-to-be University of Virginia graduate has pursued many passions, including music, sound engineering and acting. Later this month, she will graduate with degrees in engineering science (including minors in computer science and astronomy) and music.


This semester, Kiatrungrit is teaching a one-credit music engineering course, focused not only on techniques, but also on examining creative career paths for engineers in media production.


“There are many opportunities for engineers in the entertainment industry, from coding and animation to sound and music editing,” she said.


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How Hologram Technology is Changing the Future of the Music Industry




“Imagine a world where you can experience iconic events like Woodstock, The Beatles’ debut at the Cavern Club or the last performance of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Apollo,” says the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)’s Gennaro Castaldo.

Inside the realm of music entertainment in 2019, anything seems possible. From mind-warping visual effects to advanced 3D projections, our live-entertainment universe is expanding at a rapid rate. As Gennaro suggests, there will soon be no limit on what – and who – we can pay to see, living or dead. “It’s so exciting that artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality, CGI and holograms all have the potential to keep enhancing and evolving the music experience.”


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Anaheim Elementary School District pilots eSports Curriculum




When Cory Robertson was a kid, he would rush home after school and spend the evenings playing The Legend of Zelda and Mario Brothers games on his Nintendo gaming console. His parents, like most of those in his generation, insisted that he turn off the games and focus on school; they thought gaming would never lead to a well-paid job. Today, Cory is the Director of Digital Education Services at the Anaheim Elementary School District where he and his team are pioneering the first elementary eSports curriculum in the nation- quite possibly the first in the world.


Most gamers are first exposed to the world of eSports years before they set foot on a college campus, often starting to develop their gaming skills in elementary school. With this context in mind, AESD is now offering the Nurturing Positive Competitors curriculum which, in addition to providing the opportunity to advance their gaming skills, provides students with the framework to explore career opportunities, establish healthy habits, and develop positive citizenship values that are applied in the eSports world and in their daily life.


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The Best Films Schools for 2019




Where does the path to diversity begin? What kickstarts fearlessness and the will to win, to create, to innovate? How do aspiring entertainment artists and executives develop the skills to tell tomorrow’s stories and find the tools to build the next generation of platforms to sustain an industry where disruption is the new normal? Without the educators and programs in these pages, the voices of underserved youth will never be heard, and their visions will never change the world.


We look not only at top universities offering cutting-edge instruction in everything from cinematography to costume design, but also at speak to educators and look at educational tools that build knowledge of multi-ethnic music, art, writing and film. Entertainment education has never been more important.


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Literacy Through Lyrics




A Michigan State University music program merges literacy with songwriting to empower Detroit youth.

Launched in 2016 by the MSU Community Music School-Detroit, Verses uses hip hop, spoken word poetry and music technology as teaching tools. Students improve their literacy skills through the art of songwriting, composing, performing, mixing and recording.

Faculty members include some of Detroit’s leading professional musicians, recording artists and engineers. In addition to mentoring services, students have access to instruments and high-tech studio equipment to produce professional recordings of their original music.

The program’s innovative curriculum was developed in collaboration between MSU’s College of Music and College of Education with the goal of better preparing the students for college and careers.

Since its launch, hundreds of youth in Detroit have participated in Verses, which is offered free and funded by the Marshall Mathers Foundation and Michigan-based Carhartt.


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