Music Hack Day Kicks Off In North America

Boston's Inaugural Event Connects 300 Hackers to Build Next Generation Music Apps

Nov 20, 2009

SOMERVILLE, MA — CAMBRIDGE, MA - November 20, 2009 - During the weekend of November 21, nearly 300 hackers will gather in Cambridge MA for one common purpose - to hack music. This is the Boston Music Hack Day. At the weekend-long event programmers, engineers, musicians and hobbyists will devote 36 hours to building next generation music apps, novel music making devices, and computer-generated music remixes.

The hack day allows music hackers of all types to gather in one place, to share ideas, collaborate and show off the cool things they can do with music. More than 30 companies and organizations are participating in the event. But the real heart of the Hack Day are the independent hackers who come to the hack day for the love of creating something new. "The music hack day is a great way to not just learn what's new in music tech but to actually dive in and use the tech to build something really cool," says Ben Lacker, programmer from The Echo Nest.

The event attracts programmers, engineers, musicians and hobbyists from a wide range of industries, not just those in the music tech industry. Hackers participate in the Music Hack Day not because it is their job, but because music and technology is their passion. To make it easy for anyone to participate, even those with 9 to 5 jobs in unrelated fields, the event is held on the weekend and is free for all participants.

Previous Music Hack Day's have produced a wide range of novel music hacks such as Theremag that turns your Android phone into a theremin (a primitive electronic instrument and staple of horror movie soundtracks), CitySounds.fm that lets you listen to the music from your favorite city and echonest.streamgraphing.org that shows a visualization of the online 'buzz' for popular artists.

The event, being held at the Microsoft New England Research and Development center, is the fourth and largest Music Hack Day and the first one to be held in the U.S. Previous Music Hack Days have been held in London, Berlin and Amsterdam. "It's great to see the success of Music Hack Day spread to Boston from its beginnings in London. These events show that there's a real demand to not just talk about how technology is changing music but to actually be building new and exciting things with it" says Dave Haynes, Soundcloud. The Boston Music Hack Day is organized by Jon Pierce of the Awesome Foundation, Dave Haynes from Soundcloud and Paul Lamere from The Echo Nest.

More information about the Boston Music Hack Day can be found at boston.musichackday.org.