Upstream: Music x Design – 6 projects selected

Six projects have been selected in Upstream: Music x Design. Grant officer Odiel van de Nobelen reflects on the second round of 2023.

11 January 2024

general impression

This round’s projects question and prevent the barriers to experiencing music performances using different design approaches, such as innovative scenography, AI and immersive multi-sensory installations. In the theme, it is noticeable that designers are looking more critically at the experiences of audiences within the music sector. This involves creating interactions between the performer and the audience in a safe environment. There is also a strong focus in this round on the accessibility of musical performances and immersive experiences in order to involve people with disabilities better in the pop sector.

Notable projects in this round include:

Spill Gold x Noralie – Spill Gold
Spill Gold x Noralie is a collaboration between the band Spill Gold (Rosa Ronsdorf and Nina de Jong) and audiovisual designer Noralie as part of Spill Gold’s 2024 tour for their new album ZaZa. Mirrors are a source of inspiration for an audiovisual experience, and intrigue the makers in terms of both form and content. Live music is combined with visual effects and real-time camera shots of the audience. During the research, possible forms of scenography are being studied and tests carried out with material, light, sound and space in order to explore the possibilities of form and content in practice.

DOMNIQ x WERC – Stichting Combined Creatives
DOMNIQ x WERC is a collaboration between WERC Collective and musician DOMNIQ, where the common ground between human creativity and artificial intelligence is explored. The extent to which working with AI can enhance creativity and challenge artists’ physical limits is being examined. The end result is an interactive art installation that combines human and AI creativity. Visitors are actively involved and experience the symbiosis between humans and machines, allowing them to reflect on the role of AI.

CRTL X – The Ritual
The Ritual is a collaborative project between musical act CUT_ (Sebastiaan Dutilh and Belle Doron) and designers Daphne Karstens and Mikki Passenier. The aim of The Ritual is to transform live pop music into a multi-sensory experience. A way is being sought to make performances more accessible and interesting for people with physical or mental disabilities. This multi-sensory experience informs the design of a costume and a space and will lead to an enhanced and inclusive performance that transcends the conventional senses. By means of five performances in Dutch pop venues, people from different backgrounds are connected and made aware of the accessibility of venues and festivals. 

You can see the entire selection here.


Of the 11 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 6 are receiving grants, and that includes 4 starting grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 55%. A total of € 109,439 of the € 239,300 budget was spent in this round. In 2024, the Upstream: Music x Design grant scheme has closing dates of 26 March and 1 October.

Photo at the top: Agoraphobia – Studio Nemo Vos en musicus Robin Kester