#MTFSparks: teenage music hackers

At Music Tech Fest events in the past, we have run kids hack events aimed at 7-12 year-olds alongside our main pro 24-hour hack camp. At #MTFBerlin in May 2015, we invited some older bright sparks to get their hands dirty with microboards, electronics, computer code and conductive jelly.

With the help of leading UK educational expert Siobhan Ramsey of Sandbox Education and her team, the #MTFSparks built, tested and performed with their new inventions on the main stage at the festival.

Markus, Sonja and Louise explain their projects in these short videos.



#MTFSparks in Genoa

In November 2015, the MTF team ran a dedicated #MTFSparks event as part of the Orientamenti Fair in Genoa, Italy. Teens from local music schools hand-built musical instruments and created musical inventions using physical computing, code and colourful conductive jelly.

Alexander Allen, who won a prize as a 15 year-old hacker at #MTFLondon in 2014, joined us as part of the team at the #MTFSparks event in Genoa. His film of highlights features incredible drone footage of the venue as well as a wonderful insight into the creative process and atmosphere of #MTFSparks.



#MTFSparks in Liège

Music Tech Fest went to Liège, Belgium as part of Wallifornia Music Tech at Les Ardentes Festival, 5-6 July 2017. We gathered 14 young people (9 girls and 5 boys) aged between 12 and 16 and spent the day with them building handmade musical instruments, software and devices.

The creations were showcased on stage in a performance that had the students take on the role of aliens from other planets where instruments and sounds differ radically from each other, but through musical collaboration, a common ground could be found and they could combine in a single performance that brought them all together.


Here are some of the heroes who have helped us build this ecosystem over the past 5 years:

Jason Singh, Adam John Williams, Matt Black-Coldcut, Eska, Graham Massey, Emika, Nitin Sawhney, Reeps One, Viktoria Modesta, Martyn Ware, Laura Kriefman, Ezra, Grace Savage, Shlomo, Synthestruct, Crewdson, LJ Rich, Jamie Cullum, Scanner, Tim Exile, Mørk, Ross Flight, Leafcutter John

Ninja Tune, Warp, Soundcloud, RJDJ, The Echo Nest, Spotify, Last.fm, Shazam, Mixcloud, MusicBrainz, Musimap, B3 Media, Drake Music

Reactable, Alphasphere, Ableton, Native, ROLI, Izotope, FXpansion, Teenage Engineering, Toontrack, Serato, Soundation, Bare Conductive, Jays, Dizzy Jam, Grain Audio, Ultrasonic

element14, RS Components, Makey Makey, London Music Hackspace, Music Tech Meetup, Monthly Music Hackathon, Innovation Warehouse

The BBC, Abbey Road, Warner Music, EMI, RCA Records, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, WIRED, MTV, Stephen Fry/Penguin, Realta Films, Rebel Uncut, Riff Raff Films

Sonos, Volvo, Philips, Microsoft Research, Cisco, Swedbank, Red Bull

EU Commission, British Council, Slovenian Ministry of Culture, Cankarjev Dom, MSUM, Umeå Kommun, Region Västerbotten, Uminova, Ume.net, Guitars Museum, NZ Music Commission, Sounds Aotearoa, Sound and Music, Redstar Union, Factory Berlin

MTG, IRCAM, C4DM, Fraunhofer, BCU, MIT Media Lab, Harvard Music Minds, Berklee College of Music, McGill, Goldsmiths, Umeå University, Royal College of Art

...and an ever growing list of music tech startups with great ideas on how to reinvent this space.

The Music Tech Fest evolved from the ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC TECH.

The Music Tech Fest soundtrack is growing courtesy of those great guys at Soundcloud.

Every network should have a soundtrack.