Tara Pattenden > Orientation #108

It’s been some time since attending the orientation workshop at Steim and the writing of this post.  I have now had loads of time to time to reflect on my experience there. I am finding that the technologies and ideas encountered at Steim are repeatedly coming up in discussions, reflections and research.

Attending the orientation workshop was a fabulous opportunity to learn about Steim as an organisation and the role they have played in the development of performance technologies in the Netherlands and internationally.  The project examples they presented often had a focus on creating electronic instruments which seamlessly fit to the musician’s required movements; and that similar to traditional instruments, can be played  in an advanced way.  Instruments and interfaces that enable the performer to learn the instrument and develop unique techniques and styles of playing.   Seeing their focus and thought into what make an instrument successful  has sparked ideas regarding the complexity of interfaces. And although my interests lie in more interfaces and instruments that are not seamless but rather awkward and clumsy, seeing examples of a different point of view was a motivating learning experience.

Kristina Andersen’s presentation and workshop was particularly inspiring.  I found her approach to creativity and developing ideas interesting and relevant to my practice.  She had a fresh approach to creating, that attempted to invent new ways of imagining through play and spontaneous ‘on the fly’ questioning.

Instructions in Steim’s sampling software Lisa were also great,  Lisa is a loop based software for audio performance that is everything I have previously wished for in audio sampling software, I intend to use it as a performance tool in the future.

When i was first planning my trip to Amsterdam,  I was wondering whether to stay with friends or in the guesthouse at Steim.  A friend who had previously attended pointed out that one of the best things about his time there was meeting and chatting with the other workshop participants and that it was a great place to stay.   He was right, it was great to meet and chat with the other participants who were all working on interesting projects of their own.

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