2012 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition Set for February 16-17 at Georgia Tech


Teri Nagel, Georgia Tech College of Architecture

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This must-see event is a hotbed for musicians and artists who are pushing the boundaries of music performance. Learn more about the judges, finalists and what to expect at the event.

  • Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition
  • Guthman Musical Insturment - Photo 2 Guthman Musical Insturment - Photo 2

Georgia Tech today announced that the 2012 Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, an annual event to find the world’s best new ideas in musicality, design and engineering, is scheduled for February 16-17, in Atlanta.  

Located in the Klaus Advanced Computing Building at 266 Ferst Drive, the event is free and open to the public with advance RSVP online at gtcmt.gatech.edu/guthmanrsvp. A detailed schedule will be posted in January.

The event is a hotbed for musicians and artists who are pushing the boundaries of music performance. Wired magazine has called it the “X-Prize for music,” and contestants have likened it to a TED Conference for new musical instrument designers.

“We want the competition to be the place to see, experience and engage the future of music,” said Gil Weinberg, Director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. “It’s also a platform for bringing like-minded inventors and composers together from all over the world to have their ideas judged by a preeminent panel of independent experts.”

Instruments will be judged on musicality, design and engineering by an expert panel including Atau Tanaka, media artist and researcher, and Cyril Lance, chief engineer at electronic musical instrument manufacturer Moog Music.

On his approach to judging the competition, Tanaka explained, “There is a disruptive power in questioning traditional musical  roles of authorship and performance. Through this questioning, the basic tenets of musical instrumentality come to light.”

In total, $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the most exciting novel musical instruments and presented by Tech alumnus Richard Guthman in honor of his musician wife, Margaret.

Twenty-four inventors, composers and designers from xxxx countries were selected to compete, from more than xxxx entries.  For a taste of the kinds of instruments that will be presented in the competition, here are four examples from this year’s entrant pool:

  • Resistor JelTone, a partially edible toy piano by Brooklyn-based hacker collective, NYC Resistor;
  • Audio Cube, a lighting, sound and projection system by Colorado-based electronic musician Mark Mosher;
  • Hyperkeys, a keyboard, with keys that move in-and-out as well as up-and-down, by Jeff Tripp; and
  • Audio Skin, incorporating on-body textiles in a sculptural and performative musical instrument, by Vienna, Austria-based Martin Rille.

Past competitions have hosted a broad range of inventions, including last year’s winner, MO, by Interlude Consortium, the software that explores novel gestural interfaces for musical expression with everyday objects; and second prize winner MindBox Media Slot Machine, by German group Humatic Berlin, a vintage slot machine with an unexpected modern twist on the age-old tradition of canon composition.

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CMT - Center for Music Technology

Student and Faculty, Digital Media and Entertainment, Music and Music Technology, Robotics
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Center for Music Technology, College of Architecture, Gil Weinberg, Jason Freeman, school of music
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Workflow Status: Draft
  • Created On: Dec 13, 2011 - 7:00am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:10pm