From Intel IT Systems Analyst To Mariachi STEAM Cofounder

 

 

 

Romanna Flores is an IT Systems Analyst at Intel and since 2016 she is also the cofounder of Mariachi STEAM, a summer program for young Latinx musicians that is dedicated to connecting the dots between science, technology, engineering, mathematics and music.

 

Every industry that I entered started with a creative focus and then evolved to a more technical position allowing me to create innovative, digital interactions. My willingness to learn and experiment with emerging technologies was embraced by application teams who welcomed a different perspective to problem-solving.”

 

With Mariachi STEAM, Flores and her cofounder Richard Flores are hoping to cultivate the same encouraging, informative environment for Latinx students.

 

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Hillel’s Tech Corner: It’s Like Music To Global Ears

 

 

 

I think we can all agree that one thing we can use more of in our lives right now is music. Thanks to services like YouTube and Spotify, we have more music at our fingertips than ever before and that’s great. A Tel Aviv-based start-up called JoyTunes wants to take it one step further.

 

While we are all mostly stuck at home or at the very least, spending significantly more time in our homes due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, JoyTunes offers a platform that uses cutting-edge technology we will get into later to help you learn to play a musical instrument.

 

The company has developed multiple applications for learning and practicing music: one for self-learning, another for use by music teachers in training students, while a third offers music learning for toddlers. The company recently launched a guitar-learning app, currently only available on Apple devices. The apps turn learning to play musical instruments into an intuitive, “gamified” experience. The system detects playing and provides instant feedback.

 

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Music Student Develops Software for Tech Company

 

 

 

A Virginia Tech undergraduate helped build software capable of communicating with a device that can translate finger pressure into sound and light.

 

Rachel Hachem, a senior majoring in creative technologies in music in the School of Performing Arts, served as a leader in a collaborative project between Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra and Sensel Inc., a tech company specializing in computer interaction.

 

The new software is an extension of a programming environment that provides easy access to the multitouch pressure data from the Sensel Morph, a multitouch controller that recognizes user input through a variety of methods.

 

Hachem was the first Virginia Tech student to select creative technologies in music as a major. This degree option is designed to explore the intersection of music, technology, industry, and research.

 

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Elk Audio’s Aloha Service Launches To Improve Remote Music Jams, Collaboration, Education

 

 

 

Audio technology company Elk Audio announced a new service today called Aloha designed to make it easier for musicians to remotely play together from hundreds of miles, while also powering remote production, collaboration and education from even greater distances.

 

Three major mobile companies – Verizon, Vodafone and Ericsson – have been involved in Aloha’s development over the past couple of years, because of the service’s potential as a way to drive value for users of 5G-capable mobile phones as well as high-speed broadband networks.

 

“The goal was to create the possibility for musicians to play together, to have some sort of audio platform for musicians, where they became another piece of the Internet of Things ecosystem,” said Elk Audio founder and CEO Michele Benincaso, who is based in Stockholm, Sweden. “We have musicians playing together with over 1,000 miles distance in between. It’s basically science fiction.”

 

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Tucson Conductors Turn To Tech To Connect

 

 

 

Charles David Young was feeling a bit antsy in late May. It had been months since he and his fellow Foothills Phil musicians had shared a stage after rehearsals were halted in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“Desperation is the mother of invention, and it was this that led me to propose to Bob Atwell, who has been composing amazing pieces for the Foothills Phil for many years, to write something for the times we are living through,” recalled Young, who has played trumpet in the orchestra for seven years.

 

The work, which 20 members of the 80-member orchestra recorded in June for a YouTube video that was released last week, is among the more ambitious projects undertaken by Tucson orchestras during the pandemic. It’s also one that shows that while the health crisis might have closed concert halls and canceled classical music seasons worldwide, it has not silenced Tucson orchestras and conductors.

 

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Ellie Goulding’s ‘Brightest Blue’ Further Demonstrates Emerging XR Technology

 

 

 

Ellie Goulding’s recent YouTube performances of songs from her latest album, Brightest Blue, demonstrates emerging XR “mixed reality” technology in a stunning fashion. Mixed reality combines live performance and computer-generated virtual imagery to augment and enhance the live performances of musicians, dancers, and other performers. Goulding’s XR-enhanced performances during the launch of her new album have so far included Brightest Blue and New Heights, which were both directed by Giorgio Testi.

 

The performances feature Goulding performing on a stage with live off-stage musical accompaniment while surrounded by evocative visual imagery. The aesthetic stands out for its subtlety and excellent, cohesive art direction. The beauty of the technology is that the videos are uncannily somewhere between ordinary reality and the type of CGI that viewers are accustomed to seeing within heavily edited videos.

 

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Paradigm’s Mike Malak On Live Music’s Tech Revolution

 

 

 

Paradigm agent Mike Malak has urged to live business to take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technology.

 

Speaking in Music Week’s recent feature on how modern technology is reshaping the concert experience in the age of Covid-19, Malak likened the current situation to the issues facing the record business around the turn of the century.

 

“This is another version of when the record industry was going through trouble in the early 2000s with Napster,” he said. “That eventually birthed iTunes and streaming because the industry was backed into a corner – and I think COVID has just sped up something that was going to happen anyway.

 

“The legacy of this period can be that we work out new revenue streams for artists. I don’t think it would save us from not having live shows in the future, but it could protect us to a point where you’d be able to ride things out.”

 

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Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Launches Headphones With New Listening Technology

 

 

 

It seems as if audio and fast cars are converging.  Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have teamed up with IRIS, an audio technology company, in a bid to bring fans closer to the track, with the launch of a limited edition state-of-the-art wireless IRIS Flow Headphones.

 

IRIS is a company that’s backed by music industry leaders, including Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, and Concord, the world’s largest independent music company. The IRIS technology uses a proprietary algorithm that the company claims can restore sound quality lost during the recording process; making the music and audio sound as good as it did when live.

 

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Expert Weighs In On The Future Of Music Education In An Online Age

 

 

 

The sounds of school will change when music students return to learn this year.

 

One expert says students are more ready than ever to take their tunes online.

 

“What that’s going to do is break down the barriers that we have had about fear of technology and the idea of performance,” said Christopher Cayari, assistant professor of music education at Purdue University.

 

Music-making research, projects, technologies and literacy usually occurs within three dispositions:

  1. Do-it-yourself
  2. Do-it-with-others
  3. Do-it-for-others

 

“We’re used to selfies now. We’re used to holding a camera up and taking a picture of ourselves. We’re used to taking videos of ourselves and putting them on Snapchat, on Facebook, on YouTube,” Cayari told KATU News. “That makes it so there’s less of a barrier for students when they start to make music and record themselves.”

 

The lack of in-person music education in the fall could still put a burden on the development of children.

 

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How Tech Can Keep Virtual Music Class Pitch Perfect

 

 

 

In K-12 music classes and performances may look different this fall, but creativity and music-making technology will mean classes won’t be silenced, one expert says.

 

“There are so many online tools out there that music educators can use to bring students together during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Christopher Cayari, assistant professor of music education in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance at Purdue University.

 

“One option is for programs to host online concerts or performances through the recording and mixing of virtual ensembles and individual performances,” Cayari says.

 

Platforms like Soundtrap by Spotify and Protools are great resources for sound editing. Other software like Flipgrid and Adobe Premiere do video editing, while Acapella by PicPlayPost and BandLab are compilation apps available for mobile devices to create musical productions amid the pandemic.

 

Cayari encourages music educators to experiment with these kinds of software to make music with their students, and the skills they develop while distance learning can then be carried into physical classrooms after the pandemic is over.

 

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