Ei in collaboration with ARA and The Soundshop - Music & Technology
November 29th, 2018
How does one create an environment that is captivating, stimulates creativity, and discusses frontier innovation? We decided to pilot an unconventional event format: weaving musical performances on top of information sessions covering the new technologies that benefit all content creators and consumers. Our hypothesis from previous events was the following: educational events can get dry and boring. By intertwining enjoyable musical acts with valuable education, we can capture the audience’s attention long enough so they can internalize the intended lessons from each session.
This leads us to our takeaway #1: as opposed to larger conferences, like Mondo.NYC smaller events with interactive formats are better for establishing authentic connections between attendees with unique backgrounds.
After 30 minutes of pre-event networking and drinks, Ei’s Bill Kwok gave the opening address, setting the stage for what ultimately became a night of live performances paired with exploring the innovations shaping the future of the Creative industries - like music, art, film, photography, and dance.
We kicked off the evening with a bangin’ performance from up-and-coming hip-hop artist James “Forsyth” Atkinson. The audience had the pleasure of experiencing Forsyth’s new EP Beauty in the Struggle, performed live for the very first time. The Soundshop’s Akpanoluo, armed with his trusty Theremin, introduced himself and his organization’s mission: a music salon that educates and showcases talented up-and-coming artists in NYC.
All our events feature a strong educational component, we had Paul Johnson, adjunct professor at Fordham Gabelli School of Business and Columbia Business School, present a brief overview of blockchain fundamentals, giving the audience a foundation understanding of innovative technologies that will change the music industry for content creators.
Highlight performances for the night were looping artists Jeremy Stoddard Carroll aka Guitarchitecture and David Webb aka Dovi J, both of whom eloquently intersected musical talent with technology to construct layered harmonies - both performances brought the room to a complete standstill. For those unaware, Looping is the process of using technology to create repetitive sounds that layer on top of one another to create a compounding, harmonious confluence of sounds.
A beautiful moment ensued - a technologist in the audience built a bridge between her and the looping artists by comparing developing code with music looping technology. Soon afterward, a lawyer (with no creative background) offered a newfound appreciation for the intersection of technology and music. These organic connections exemplify the ethos and goals of the evening.
Takeaway #2: infusing musical performances with informative sessions creates the right balance of education and fun
ARA’s, Sunny Atwal gave a demonstration of the capabilities of the ARA Blocks platform. It empowers content creators to control the rights, IP, price, and distribution of their content using novel blockchain technology built on the Ethereum protocol. Kirk from Sndbox and The Creative Crypto educated the audience about Steemit, a Reddit-like content platform that Creatives use to generate income by posting popular content.
We were lucky to have been joined by emerging artists from other disciplines, as experimental augmented reality visual artist Morgan Winter in collaboration with Kyle Szostek displayed the power of leveraging AR/VR to push the boundaries of visual art and bring new concepts to life. Also in the audience was the team at Haiku Guys, who with their old-school typewriter, composed haikus for everyone in the audience - infusing an element of fun while simultaneously giving an ode to the technology that laid the groundworks for where we are today - the typewriter!
Takeaway #3: cross-discipline artistic showcases enable creatives from all spaces - music, art, dance, etc - to connect with the content in their own manner. Furthermore, this fosters an ideal environment for artistic collaboration and networking.
With interactive Q&As following every presentation, we were delighted to see the night become an open forum of knowledge sharing between Creatives and Techies alike. By the end of the evening, we demonstrated the power of emerging technology by showing the audience that Forsyth’s Beauty in the Struggle earned $8 in less than three hours using the Steemit platform. Making $8 using today’s streaming services would require over 2,000 streams! We admit - $8 may not be enough to pay rent. But when used often, and in tandem with the 50+ platforms that exist today, building additional revenue streams has never been easier.
So here’s a recap of our key takeaways from the event:
As opposed to larger conferences, like Mondo.NYC, smaller events are better for establishing real connections between speakers, educators, and Creatives.
Infusing musical performances with informative sessions creates the right balance of education and fun.
Cross-discipline artistic showcases enable creatives from all spaces - music, art, dance, etc - to connect with the content in their own manner. Furthermore, this fosters an ideal environment for artistic collaboration and networking.
We at Ei would like to thank all of our speakers, artists, and audience members for a magical evening full of fun, education, and collaboration. We believe we accomplished the goal of displaying the role of technology plays in the evolving the content creation and monetization process. Look forward to seeing you at our next event on February 21st!
Following the success of Mondo.NYC, Ei piloted an event focused on connecting with the attendees and delivering valuable content to Creatives of all disciplines. This structure intertwines live performances and engaging discussions with workshops on innovative tools and platforms. While we continually improve this format, the message remains the same - Creatives must explore how today’s emerging technologies can improve the creation, control, distribution, and monetization of their content.