Eric Brotto, Account Director at Smile Machine, talks to us about his job, his degree, and how Goldsmiths prepared him for the future.
What are the main roles and responsibilities of your job? I have been at Smile Machine for just over one and a half years. I started out as a Software Developer making creative iPhone and iPad Applications and then was appointed as an Account Director to help raise awareness of the company and grow the business. I regularly meet with clients and write specific briefs to meet their needs.
How did studying at Goldsmiths prepare you the future? The academics at Goldsmiths were top notch, and I really felt the sky’s the limit! I had big ideas about what I wanted to get out of the programme and the professors supported me and enabled me to get to achieve my goals.
Whilst studying at Goldsmiths I created an iPhone App which allows users to simulate the experience of being a rap artist – at one stage it was the number one downloaded App in the Bahamas and neighbouring islands! My professors helped me to develop the App which was seen by my current boss and led to my job at Smile Machine.
Before starting at Goldsmiths I never thought this would have been possible, but the academics were so creative and understood exactly what I wanted to achieve. By working with Goldsmiths Careers Service I was able to secure a job before I graduated and gained valuable work experience at an agency working as a new media co-ordinator.
What elements of your degree did you enjoy and why? The programme was very interdisciplinary, with the professors working across Computing and Art. Goldsmiths is not just about learning new skills but learning what to do with them and how to be innovative. It was exciting to be part of a creative atmosphere – surrounded by other students with strong ideas of their own.
What are you working on at the moment? I am currently participating in a project exploring how young people can harness the digital revolution and computing. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of young people, from all different backgrounds, and will present the project alongside a number of creative agencies at South by South West.
In this video PhD student Bruno Zamborlin shows how it is possible to perform gesture recognition just with contact microphones and transform every surface into an interactive board.
Through gesture recognition techniques we detect different kind of fingers-touch and associate them with different sounds.
In the video we used two different audio synthesis techniques:
1- physic modelling, which consists in generating the sound by simulating physical laws;
2- concatenative synthesis (audio mosaicing), in which the sound of the contact microphone is associated with its closest frame present in a sound database.
The system can recognise both fingers-touches and objects that emit a sound, such as the coin shown in the video.
More details: www.brunozamborlin.com/mogees
We’ve just got these lovely photos of our 2012 graduates on their graduation day in September. Massive congratulations to you all – stay in touch and send us your news – we always like to hear about what our former students are getting up to out in the big wide world. They grow up so quickly *sniff*
Thank you to all of you who visited Goldsmiths today to attend our open day. Prof. Zimmer (Head of Department) and the team have really enjoyed chatting to you all about our programmes and the department here at Goldsmiths.
I know we spoke to one or two of you about Joe Boston’s Processing tutorial videos. You can see more of Joe’s videos here but here’s one to be going on with 🙂
Look at this piece in MusicWeek about ‘bronze format’, a new music format aimed at composers and producers and devised by a research team led by Computing’s Mick Grierson in collaboration with musician Gwilym Gold.
I asked Mick to tell us a bit more about BRONZE and how the project came into being:
“In Goldsmiths Computing Department, our Embodied Audiovisual Interaction Group (EAVI) features a number of staff and students with backgrounds in professional electronic and computer music. As a result of my work in these areas, I was approached by Gwilym Gold and Lexx to develop an idea called ‘bronze format’. It’s not really similar to generative music approaches that have been tried before by the likes of Brian Eno, and other computer music researchers. Instead, it’s been designed as a commercial music format, and so can’t be a software program that creates random mixes songs – it’s not at all random, as this isn’t really what the musicians and producers we work with want.
“It’s aimed at producers and composers who want to make any kind of music, including very organised, highly structured music, that is at a professional level equal to that which you can achieve with professional authoring tools, but that is capable of being different each time, whilst still sounding like the same track – retaining the quality and balance of the original mixes, and the words / music in all the right places. These were the challenges we faced. I led the team from Goldsmiths as part of my Sound, Image and Brain project (funded by the AHRC). Chris Kiefer, my research assistant, and Parag Mital, a PhD student in Arts and Computational technology worked on the generative audio engine. In addition, Dan Jones, a PhD student in Computing worked on some of the iPhone audio elements.”
Director of Creative Computing Dr Mick Grierson has appeared on the Radio 4 documentary, “A Sound British Adventure”, talking about the ‘Secret History of British Electronic Music’. He discusses the pioneering work of Daphne Oram, and the relationship between technology and creativity in electronic music alongside key historical figures in the field including synthesiser pioneer Peter Zinnovieff (whose machines were used by Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones), and Brian Hodgson, creator of the Dr. Who Tardis sound effect.
You can listen to the program here until the 21st of August 2012