Upstream: Music x Design – 3 projects selected

In last year's third and final round of the Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme, grants were awarded to three very different projects. Loden Rietveld, Remy van Kesteren and Babusi Nyoni are all engaged in projects for which they each seek unique forms of collaboration with designers, makers and musicians to fuse together design and music.

29 January 2020

Upstream: Music x Design was launched in 2019 to offer makers and artists the opportunity to work together on pop music projects that simultaneously research new applications of design and technology.

Symbiotic Interlude – Loden Rietveld with Malou Palmboom and Aimée Gersons
Interbellum is a music performance collective consisting of two music technologists (Loden Rietveld and Nathan Marcus) and two theatre designers (Malou Palmboom and Aimée Gersons). In the performance Symbiotic Interlude, the actions required to perform electronic music are magnified, partly by means of newly developed instruments. The goal of the performance is to stimulate the audience's interest for technological applications and to let them see and understand what happens up on stage.

REMY. x Blauwe Uur– Remy van Kesteren with Blauwe Uur
REMY. x Blauwe Uur
is a partnership consisting of harp player Remy van Kesteren and design collective Blauwe Uur. In this project they are further developing the twelve-strong robot orchestra Analogue Robot Orchestra (ARO). The orchestra consists of instruments that are played by computer-controlled mini-robots, accompanied by Van Kesteren on harp. For a new theatre tour in 2021, Blauwe Uur's Jurjen Alkema and Remy van Kesteren are creating a musical and theatrical organism that performs live percussion and can also respond to Van Kesteren. The performance comprises music, light and visual projections, with the light revealing how the robots work. This way, the audience is able to spatially locate the origin of a certain sound. Video projectors add texture, rhythm and colour to the music by means of video mapping.

Future Sound of Amsterdam – Babusi Nyoni with Sarah-Jane and DJ Lag
Future Sound of Amsterdam is a project that applies artificial intelligence to explore both contemporary and future pop music in the Netherlands. The project is the result of a partnership between UX-designer Babusi Nyoni and the performers Sarah-Jane (singer-songwriter) and DJ Lag. The project comprises extensive research into the Dutch music industry in the past ten years, from the development of genres to the different types of listeners. By applying algorithms and artificial intelligence, the resulting data is used to define the sound of today. This result then serves as input for the production of a song by the three makers involved in the project. Future Sound of Amsterdam will be presented as a live performance as various festivals, including Afrolosjes.

response of the advisory committee
'We are seeing innovative digital concepts being combined with a wide range of music genres. The grant programme is stimulating new and interdisciplinary partnerships, with attractive and ambitious plans as a result. In addition to the opportunities offered to established performers, musicians, creative coders, producers and designers, these are also offered now to new genres and fresh talent', says Committee member Klasien van de Zandschulp in response to the last selection round. Other Committee members of the Upstream: Music x Design programme are Jeroen van Erp (chair), Arjo Klingens, Brian Elstak and Eva van Netten.

2020 deadlines
In 2020, the year budget for Upstream: Music x Design is €335,000, made available in two application rounds. This year's deadlines are 1 April and 9 September. Ideas and concepts can be discussed by telephone or email with the grant programme team, consisting of Sean Gilis and Ibrahim Alaoui Chrifi.

Upstream: Music x Design
Through Upstream: Music x Design, the Creative Industries Fund joins the Performing Arts Fund and Sena in supporting innovative artistic formats and partnerships within the Dutch pop/urban music scene. The grant programme is implemented by the Creative Industries Fund and is intended for projects in which performers collaborate with designers and makers to create new applications of design, visual culture and technology in music. By means of Upstream, the two funds and Sena seek to expand and reinforce the Dutch music industry, to achieve greater international prominence, and to stimulate crossovers with other disciplines.