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An open lab for art-music performance research

Tekhnee is a privately run R&D workshop that sprouted in Aalto University’s innovation center in Finland. Open to professional musicians and selected students, its artistic-training and professional-development opportunities serve as environments for research and creative practice at intersections of classical performance pedagogy, music analysis, symbolic music encoding, and motion capture.

FAQs


  • Can I participate online?
  • Which programs are suitable for me?
  • What is the typical musical background of participants?
  • Do you use sensors in all your programs?
  • How many participants can you accommodate per program?
  • Are your programs available free of charge? Do you offer scholarships?
  • What fees apply?
  • How are you financed?
  • What are your guiding principles?
  • Are you hiring or seeking partners?
  • Is your scholarship open? What is your intellectual property policy?
  • Music scholarship aside, what technologies and toolchains do you employ?
  • Why Finland?
Can I participate online?
The lab is based in Helsinki. Some programs are available in nearby centers (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tallinn), while others operate online using synchronous conferencing technologies and tools (e.g. Wacom tablets). The lab is typically able to provide tablets to participants on long-term loan. Tekhnee’s bot will consider your location prior to determining your program eligibility and making any recommendations.
Which programs are suitable for me?

Tekhnee’s training programs serve simultaneously as research platforms to the benefit of everyone involved, therefore it is crucial that the participants’ musical background be aligned with current research needs. You are invited to run TekhneeBot, a decision engine, which will consider your individual background and suggest relevant projects. At the end of the process you’ll be provided with the option to arrange a follow-up discussion in person.

What is the typical musical background of participants?
While Tekhnee’s programs and development projects are generally not designed for hobbyists, they are suitable for participants across the spectrum of formative stages in professional-track training. Among them are, for instance, teachers of piano, voice, and orchestra instruments; pupils and intermediate students pursuing enrollment in special music schools; pre-college or college students of music theory; conservatory-trained but “lapsed” instrumentalists; and competition- or audition-bound performers.
Do you use sensors in all your programs?

Sensor usage is more frequent in the performance-intensive programs. Most participants will be invited to wear one or more coin-sized sensors on a regular basis during piano lessons and performance workshops. In rare cases you could be requested to accept a standard “non-disclosure agreement,” as a token of understanding that any information on the devices or associated pedagogic materials, to which you’ll be privy, will remain confidential. On their request, participants are given access to a complete log of motion data collected from their playing.

How many participants can you accommodate per program?

The number is limited and depends on current resources, the possible involvement of collaborators, and the number of active participants, among other factors.

Are your programs available free of charge? Do you offer scholarships?
Tuition fees are a significant income stream for the lab, and the majority of slots for piano lessons, Schenker training, or performance workshops are not free. However, the lab is occasionally able to offer free study opportunities in the following cases:
  • Students whose individual background is essential to current research.
  • Investigational study programs at early stages of development.
  • Participants affiliated with institutional partners (orchestras, conservatories, music schools, etc.).
Efforts are under way to reduce the lab’s reliance on fees. Subscribe to the email list and follow Tekhnee on Twitter to receive any relevant announcements.
What fees apply?

Please inquire, either directly or after running TekhneeBot, for information on fees.

How are you financed?
Tekhnee is funded by combinations of investment, grants, and tuition fees. Earnest efforts are ongoing to minimize dependence on tuition fees, and to fund courses as well as professional-development workshops, through partnerships with educational institutions, academia, and arts organizations. As much as possible, the lab strives to adhere to the Sustainability principle of “Open Scholarship Infrastructures” (Bilder, Geoffrey, Jennifer Lin, and Cameron Neylon. 2015. ‘Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures-V1.’).

What are your guiding principles?

Academic integrity in research and artistic relevance in applications of technology.

Are you hiring or seeking partners?
While there is no position to advertise at present, the lab welcomes collaboration proposals or employment applications from individuals with up-to-date expertise in a range of areas, such as:
  • Schenker, partimento, thoroughbass.
  • Piano pedagogy (either in the form of piano lessons or as keyboard-based harmony or music analysis coursework).
  • College-level music theory, including harmony, form theory, and counterpoint, with fluency in the Russian- and/or Chinese language.
  • Inertial motion sensor data analysis, the Julia programming language, Pd, Mokka, etc.
  • Audiovisual technologies for documenting piano lessons and masterclasses.
  • Arduino/Raspberry Pi coding and basic circuit design.
  • MusicXML, MEI, music21.
  • Piezoelectric materials and e-textiles.

We are particularly keen on working with graduate students and junior researchers in any of the above areas.

Is your scholarship open? What is your intellectual property policy?

Most of the resulting research is intended to be released in the public domain via academic and open scholarship channels. Until that happens the workshop counts on your confidentiality. Some of the ongoing work is patent-pending. In rare cases, especially when sensors are involved, you may be requested to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Music scholarship aside, what technologies and toolchains do you employ?

Among others: Swift, Julia, Pd, RStudio, OSC, music21, and the mbientLab platform.

Why Finland?

More reasons than would fit in this space: former affiliation of Tekhnee staff with the Sibelius Academy, a vibrant art-music scene, a penchant for innovation in education, proximity to Russia and its outstanding performance tradition, the open entrepreneurial culture and infrastructures, and much more.

Team

Founder & Research Lead

Dr. Yannis Rammos

Yannis is a concert pianist & music theorist with a Ph.D. in Performance from New York University, and an active schedule of performances, academic research, and innovative teaching activities. You may follow his artistic and scholarly work at www.rammos.co.
Sensor & Motion Capture Engineer

Dr. Vlad Marochkin

With a D.Sc. in Technical Physics, an M.Sc. in Electronics and Microelectronics, and eight years of R&D experience in semiconductor technologies and startups, Vlad brings in technical excellence and design imagination at Tekhnee’s intersection of art and technology.

Contact


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