Since the project started, the project partners have been leading on a number of activities and collaborations that have happened or are in the process of taking shape in the areas of academic dissemination, collaboration with external artists, as well as engagement with the public and the industry. Below is a summary of the types of activities and engagement that we have been engaged in so far; the list is not meant to be exhaustive.

1) Academic Impact and Dissemination

The project partners have been delivering impact to academic beneficiaries in conventional ways, including papers in both journals and conferences, as well as in a more focussed manner in the form of special sessions, workshops and tutorials at selected important conferences including AES, ACM SIGGRAPH, CHI & Multimedia, and many others.

A substantial list of publications has already arisen as a result of the research being developed and presented at major conferences. The conference paper publications and journal publications can be seen on our Publications page.

2) The External Artist Programme

The Nottingham FAST team (Mixed Reality Laboratory, University of Nottingham) are leading on the external artist programme. A number of collaborations and engagement activities with artists have already taken place, others are ongoing or in development.

The Mixed Reality Laboratory (MRL) team work with a number of external entities, including artists, musicians and developers, to support their practice. These collaborative efforts offer symbiotic relationships, wherein both parties benefit from working with one another. They foresee a future where art and technology live side by side, in a space where one can augment the other.

The external artist programme is supported by links that the department have with both academia and industry. The annual B3 Media cohort for instance are each assigned a mentor at the beginning of the year who can work with them in enabling their ideas to be revealed through technology. These links may become more long term associations and a number of associated artists have returned to work with us on a variety of projects.

The support the MRL provide is not just technical. In many cases, artists are technologists and require support in running user studies, evaluating technologies and working in a user-centred way. The diverse range of skills and experience in the lab enable us to monitor progress and offer contextually relevant support on projects as visions turn into reality.

Read more about the external artists and their projects below:

Ron Herrema (iPad application with music and visuals) 
Richard Ramchurn (Albino Mosquito and #Scanners project) (to come soon)
Di Wilshire (Sentiment project) (to come soon)

Collaboration with the recording artist and academic Tracy Redhead (ongoing)
Recording artist and academic Tracy Redhead was invited in June 2015 at the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London, to describe her work on a flexible music format to a Queen Mary University of London FAST IMPACt meeting. The collaboration is ongoing; her ways of working will continue to inform the project’s activities on Digital Music Objects.

3) Industry Engagement

Abbey Road studios: Alan Blumlein, 1 April 2015

The FAST IMPACt project was presented by Mark Sandler to an audience of approximately 100 attendees on at Abbey Road Studios, marking the occasion of Blumlein’s centenary with a plaque dedicated by IEEE. FAST is now dedicated to the memory of Alan Dower Blumlein, the inventor of binaural and crossed-pair microphone recording techniques, as well as the stereo groove configuration in vinyl LP records.

The Innovation in Music Conference, 7-9 June 2015 (InMusic15, Cambridge)

The FAST project organized a panel session at this industry-focused conference. Panelists included Matt White (Director of User Experience, Omnifone), Jon Eades (Project Manager, Abbey Road Red), Gyorgy Fazekas (C4DM, QM), Peter Tolmie (MRL, Nottingham), Gary Bromham (composer, recording / mix engineer, producer) and Adrian Hazzard (MRL, Nottingham). The panel session explored and discussed the FAST project themes as an opportunity to reach out to a wider audience to both promote and foster future engagement with other related parties.

Linked Music Hackaton, 9th October 2015, Programming with Purcell, Hacking with Handel, Linking with Liszt, Goldsmiths University of London

Over 25 academics and developers gathered for a Linked Music Hackathon, organised by the members of the FAST IMPACt Oxford team (Kevin Page and David Weigl). Attendees were able to use data produced by FAST and more than 20 other Linked Data music sources to produce new mashups prototyped and presented on the same day. A variety of hacks were shown at the end of the event with the winning project “Geobrowsing using RISM” chosen by popular vote. A Radio 1 team were also in attendance to interview attendees for the BBC’s “Make It Digital” campaign. For further info see:

Collaboration with Yamaha (ongoing)

Yamaha is working with c4dm in several ways already: hosting interns in Japan, a CASE student and a small industrial contract. CTO Richie Hasegawa visited in April 2015 and will again in April 2016. Their project on Software Defined Media is complementary to FAST.

4) Other Activities

The Able Orchestra project

The Able Orchestra project is the latest in a series of projects achieved through the partnership between Orchestras Live and Nottinghamshire Music Hub. The project has been co-produced by County Youth Arts with Orchestras Live and aims to bring world class orchestral work to under-served parts of the UK. During the project music was created by young people with disabilities from Fountaindale School and students from Outwood Academy Portland, along with members of the Halle Orchestra; all by the BBC’s ’Ten Pieces’ initiative. The event took place at the Palace Theatre Mansfield on 9 May 2015.  See our news item for more information.


The Nottingham FAST team have established a collaboration with Soundlincs, a company that delivers musical outreach activities to disadvantaged communities around the midlands ( Following an initial visit, they hosted a one day workshop to explore collaboration at which various opportunities for for future-joint projects were identified.

D-BOX workshops (as part of FACT and Being Human: Digital Festival of the Humanities)

Performers often find ways of playing musical instruments that differ from the designer’s original intent. A D-Box is a simple electronic instrument that has been purpose-designed to be as hackable as possible. Two “hackable instruments” sessions to explore creative and unexpected uses of digital instruments were organised as workshops in Liverpool (14th July 2015) and London (16th November 2015) and as part of two larger events in 2015, FACT and Being Human: Digital Festival of the Humanities.

“Ada sketches” event (sponsored by the Transforming Musicology project and FAST IMPACt)

The event was organised by the FAST Oxford team. It was held on the 30 November, Mathematical Institute, Oxford. It opened with a performance of Ada sketches by four musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music, after which the work was explained musically and mathematically by its composer Emily Howard and mathematician Lasse Rempe-Gillen (from Liverpool), then it was performed a second time. After the break we went into  he “co-creation phase” where audience members turned “numbers into notes” and these were performed by the musicians.  We captured a live annotation of the first performance by Carolin, and the audience response to the work before and after explanation was collected via questionnaires designed in conjunction with Daniel and Iris from Goldsmiths.  The audience included several attendees of the IT as a Utility network “Internet of Audio Things event” which was held earlier that day.

Ada Lovelace Symposium (sponsored by the Transforming Musicology project and FAST IMPACt)

The Ada Lovelace Symposium was organised by the FAST Oxford team. It was held on the 10-11 December 2015. For a full description, see our news item here.

There was an additional musical event at the Wednesday evening reception in Blackwell Hall – world premières of “An algorithmic study on ADA” and “ADA”, composed by James Whitbourn, performed by Commotio (mixed-voice contemporary choir), Andrew Bernardi (violin), Anna Lapwood (harp), and conducted by Matthew Berry. I later spoke with James to discuss possible future collaborations.

All the digital content (slides, photos, recordings) has been uploaded to the following web page:

Open Symphony: supporting audience-performer interaction (one of the six projects selected by Audience Labs)

Read more about this project and demonstrator in our news item and the Demonstrators list.

The Moodplay Experience

The Center for Digital Music FAST team showcased the Moodplay Interactive experience at the Digital Shoreditch annual exhibition in 2015.

Read more about this in our news items on the C4DM award for Moodbox.