If you haven’t heard of it yet, Gestrument is a gesture-based instrument for professional musicians and beginners, who want to explore making music in an intuitive way. The iOS software allows musicians to build advanced theoretical frameworks that they can later improvise within. Working on a touch-screen device, Gestrument users can play and interact directly with the rules behind the music. It allows you to approach music in a completely different way and play anything from Orchestral Music to Dubstep with the swipe of your fingers.
Gestrument can also be controlled with a motion sensor, allowing you to use your hands and body to create music. By using a Kinect device and a MIDI interface (and the Gestrument app, of course) you can translate your movements into sounds.
Gestrument can now be described as a unique piece of technology that allows you to transform any type of data into music – in real time. The software blurs the line between a playable instrument and a composed piece of music. Gestrument users can play on the DNA of music, generating or manipulating any genre of music by any input imaginable.
The gesture-instrument was invented by contemporary classical composer Jesper Nordin as his own compositional tool in 2007. After using the innovative tool for his own compositions and presenting it at various prestigious universities abroad, Jesper quickly realized the potential of his idea. He started by developing a MAX/MSP patch that allowed him to compose music using a Wacom tablet. Five years later, Jesper brings Jonatan Liljedahl and Emelie Bergbohm on board and the first version of Gestrument is released.
Jesper Nordin, Sander Sebton and Emelie Bergbohm
Since then, the team has expanded with professionals from the music and tech industries. Each of them, coming from a different background, brings valuable experience and creativity to the company. Pär Gunnars Risberg, who joined in 2017, knew all about “starting up” as he has previously established a successful sound technology startup – Opalum. Jonas Kjellberg, who is now the CTO at Gestrument, is a video game composer and developer specializing in VR. He’s now leading the development of Gestrument’s game audio engine toolkit.
Emelie Bergbohm, Gestrument’s CMO, is a producer, influencer and publicist. She also runs an interdisciplinary communication and production studio called The Bohm Bohm Room, with a focus on contemporary art and culture.
Jonatan Liljedahl has been the tech-mastemind behind the iOS app from the very beginning. He specializes in music app design and development and is the CEO and owner of Kymatica AB. Jonathan is also a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, with influences from noise, minimal, drone and stochastic music. Sander Sebton is the content specialist in the team, with a background in Digital Media, Marketing Stategies and Content Creation. This spring, they will also welcome David Grandström, a coder, to the team.
Jesper is still active in the international music scene, with several long-term projects coming to premiere this year. The two main collaborations of 2018 include clarinet soloist Martin Fröst and with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Together with Jesper, they have been working on extending the limits of what you can do in music with the help of technology. As Nordin puts it, they are “trying to expand what music is and can be.” That’s part of the vision for Gestrument as well, that also poses the question – what is the future of music? How are the new technologies transforming the way we create it? Can we build a bridge between immersive tech and art?
From the top left: Sander Sebton, Jonatan Liljedahl, Pär Gunnars Risberg, Jonas Kjellberg, David Grandström, Jesper Nordin, Emelie Bergbohm
Gestrument has been a part of Amplify since 2017 and it was a big turning point for the company as well. Gestrument shifted from mainly producing apps, and instead started to apply the Gestrument Engine to the Video Game industry with Jonas and Pär as key-players in that effort. But they are still releasing new apps and during 2018 they will release Gestrument PRO, which is the most advanced use of their concept so far.
Gestrument is now being used worldwide by both amateur music enthusiasts and world-recognized musicians such as Martin Fröst. Martin has most recently been using Gestrument during his tour in the US, alongside Jesper. Their collaboration explores the different ways in which emerging technologies can influence music creation.
This year, Gestrument will also take its first steps to becoming more than an iOS app. A new version, Gestrument Pro, will be released in the spring of 2018. It is an invitation for anyone to explore the world of music. Whether you are a composer, artist or creator – with Gestrument, you can create interactive music experiences.
Find out more about Gestrument here: http://www.gestrument.com/
Photos: Courtesy of the Gestrument team
The first weekend of February marked the third edition of Stagecast LiveHacks – a hackathon for coders, makers, designers and artists. All of them come together at Reaktorhallen and spend the day in the majestic hall 25 meters below the ground, working on solutions to revolutionize the way we experience live entertainment events. Fun fact- Reaktorhallen was the first nuclear reactor hall of Sweden.
LiveHacks is organized and hosted by Stagecast, one of the music-tech startups powered by Amplify Sweden. Stagecast aims to use technology to bring attention back to the moment instead of being a distraction. The startups’ goal and the purpose of this hackathon is to create innovative interactions for concerts and other live entertainment events – and have fun while doing it of course!
In a more and more digitalized world, the computer becomes and essential part of the creation process for most of the musicians out there. Live events are not immune to the changes that come along with new technologies and they are getting transformed.
During the hackathon, 11 teams of creatives worked on solutions to allow the performers to engage with their audience during, and after the event. After a day of really hard work, we were able to see and test these ideas ourselves. Instead of being just an audience, we became participants. From interactive solutions to turn every dance floor into a democratic one by allowing the audience to vote for their favorite songs to technologies allowing us to make sounds and be a part of the show – we were presented with some awesome ideas!
The grand prize went to the team of Stefan Lindbohm, Lucas Grönborg, Jack Nutting, Daxin Xiao and Charlie-Camille Thomas. The talented group of designers, coders came up with a way to integrate the audience into the show by displaying colorful animations representing every person in the crowd.
The most creative project, voted by the audience, was awarded to Ali Semi Yenimol, YENİMOL, Roisatul Azizah & Johanna Nordlöf. They came up with a way to combine technology and dance – and make it fun! Their project turns every dance floor into an epic one by displaying projections imitating moves of the crowd on the screen.
Everyone had the chance to try out the winning ideas when the psych-pop band Phogg performed after midnight.
We’re looking forward to the next edition of Livehacks and creating amazing things together!
text: Konstancja Lanowy
photo: Robin Bogdahn
While most widely known for Spotify, a multitude of music tech companies have emerged in Sweden. The Nordic Tech List database includes 37 companies headquarters in Sweden that are related to the music industry. A recent article from Di Digital showcases several of Stockholm's hottest music tech companies including Epidemic Sound, Soundtrack Your Brand and Amuse.
Companies like Spotify, Soundtrack Your Brand and Epidemic Sound have provided the foundation for a rich music tech ecosystem in Sweden and are able to help foster the growth of the next generation of entrepreneurs. Co-founder of Soundtrack Your Brand, Andreas Liffgarden and co-founder of Epidemic Sound, David Stenmarck are also co-founders of Amplify, Sweden's first music tech incubator, launched in 2017. At Amplify both Andreas & David use their combined 30 years of music industry experience to coach promising early stage music tech companies.
In November, we headed to Helsinki for Slush Music!
Here's what we were up to:
Amplify Coverage at Slush Music:
(Photos by Julius Konttinen & Karl-Mikael Cakste)
Monday, December 11 marked the final day of the first ever Amplify & Sting Test Drive MusicTech. Modeled after Sting's Test Drive program, Amplify Sweden provided the unique perspective of music business to the Test Drive program. Out of numerous applications, 10 companies were chosen to participate in Test Drive MusicTech with teams ranging from 1 to 4 people. Participants spent 5 sessions working with tech and music industry experts to kickstart a music & tech related idea. In order to immerse the participants in Stockholm's music tech scene, the sessions took place at 3 different locations: The Amplify Sweden Villa, Stockholm Music City House & Sony Music Sweden.