UNHEARD: Minimize the PA system! The power of portable sound devices!

Music technology changes how we listen and produce music and how we relate ourselves to what we hear. It is not uncommon nowadays to listen to music or watch videos using smartphone speakers or Bluetooth devices. They may be frowned upon by audiophiles, or they may cause annoyance to the surroundings if we turn on our smartphone speakers in public watching video clips, but their omnipresence has undeniably become part of our daily sonic experience.

Instead of being technophobic about these gadgets, we might as well embrace them and use them to our advantage. Many musicians go after high-end equipments, but there are many potentials in lower-end consumer-grade products we can use to produce music, and it makes music production and performances more accessible.

In this workshop, Eric will present how he uses multiple Bluetooth and smartphone speakers to present his music at concerts and other occasions. It minimizes the dependency on the PA system and decentralizes sound. It creates a fluid, immersive sonic sphere, and it gives agency to the audience to shape their listening experience. Participants in this workshop will get together and make music using this approach with devices most of us can easily obtain or already have.

Participants will be using Max/MSP for this workshop. There is a 30-day free trial period of the software for those who have never used the program.