Something crazy going on here. Install image from Drasko V.

Drasko Vucevic, Toronto- and Santa Monica (California)-based sound designer and artist/composer, is apparently not only interested in playing alone. His upcoming interactive installation at Toronto’s Royal Music Conservatory will have an audience jamming along live via Twitter. And the artistry is crowd-sourced, too – with a range of artists already onboard, Drasko is calling on musical and visual artists (read: you) to be involved with sounds and visuals.

Drasko has sent along extensive notes, so I’m going to let him speak for himself:

I am working through both Drastic Music and Eksperimental (my companies) to create an interactive installation experience for this year’s TEDx Toronto conference taking place at the Royal Music Conservatory.

I am also doing an interactive music performance – an audio visual performance with a complete 3d/visual journey, which allows the audience (physical and digital) to collaborate with me by triggering audio and video elements in real time through their tweets.
So far, I have a few great artists contributing their time to create some beautiful visuals for this first of its kind interactive real-time jam.

Installation [Call for Audio]:
The installation concept is based around redefining collaboration. We are doing this by using real-time data (motion, color, sound, light) and tweets relating to TEDx to trigger, control, manipulate and compose audio elements on our back-end audio library (ableton). This is all happening through Processing, Max 5, Arduino, Ableton.

The massive back-end sound library contains loops, melodies, soundscapes, fx, you name it – produced by some great artists. The beauty of this is also that artists which have never before collaborated, will be remixed and mashed up solely by the audience, in relation to key words, discussions, movement, etc.

So far, the artists contributing audio content are:

Yoko K
Richard Devine
David Della Santa
Darrin Wiener
Box of Toys
Lodewijk Vos
Matt Davis
Adrian Ellis
Andrew Lauzon
Drasko V

Performance [Visual Call]:

As I mentioned, my performance will be very interactive, musically and visually. Both audio and video elements will be triggered based on tweets in real time. I have some great visual artists contributing their time, such as Murat Pak, Yongsub, Charlie Vicetto, etc, but am looking for more, to create elements for the performance. They would of course get the great exposure of TEDx brand, be mentioned everywhere online, and will be in the final video spread throughout blogs once we launch the digital music version.

So how does the call for works … work?

The TEDxToronto conference is on September 23. Here’s how all the pieces come together for that and how to submit:

Musical system uses a massive library of sound structures – loops, melodies, fx, soundscapes and more – triggered and manipulated solely by tweets (relating to TEDxToronto) and motion, color, sound and light within the RCM venue.

Over 12 compositions will be recorded on the day of the conference. The arrangement, structure and sounds used will depend only on the key words used in tweets, the types of emotional replies, and physical interactivity within the venue.

Beauty of having some great artists be remixed and mashed up by the general public, in a very subliminal way. (again – Through their emotional replies, and physical movement)

This posting is a call to artists who may wish to apply to contribute their audio content and be a part of the soundtrack we will create that day. They should contact drasko (at) drasticmusic (dot) com with a link to their portfolio and we will take it from there.

Our installation progress may be followed on my personal site ( or via Drastic Music or Eksperimental blogs.

We plan to expand the installation idea and bring it online for an ever-changing musical universe manipulated by truly organic methods (digitally and physically).

Interested to see how this will all come together. We’ll be watching. If you submit, and if you attend, let us know how it goes.

More on Drasko:

Performance image.
  • ktk7

    I'm so weary of this crowd-sourcing mash-up kind of thing. Just because tweets get plugged in to an algorithm that triggers sounds does not mean that the art will be any kind of interesting, or genuinely expressive. But it hits on all the Web 2.0 buzzwords, so….

    More of artists like Diego Stocco and less of this please.

  • Hey ktk7 – You are right about typical algorithms that tend to create random triggers, sounds and mashups, and totally agree with you that much of those type of projects are not interesting or genuinely expressive.

    That was the challenge with this project for us, both for the installation and the performance. We worked both on the software (Max and Processing) and structuring the Audio library in such a way that would allow us to build a great musical piece in a choose your own adventure type feel.

     As for the triggers, they are not random, but carefully analyzed tweets (comments, keywords, in relation to other discussions and emotional responses) that would trigger an appropriate melody or effects.

  • Nothing is perfect in its initial phases – especially ideas as innovative and progressive as this. Ideas, concepts and paradigms develop and become refined over time. Your criticism makes me wonder what you have to contribute that could rival this… 

  • Last comment was directed in response to ktk7…

  • Robin parry

    Great music almost always comes from some frustrated individual going against the accepted norm of the mass audience,not conforming to ' their/it's' mass perception!

  • ktk7

    I appreciate Drasko's response and am curious to see how the installation plays out–good luck to all involved.

    I just read Jaron Lanier's "You Are Not a Gadget," and one of his central ideas is top of mind–that we should use technology to expand and express our human experience. That's what I like in Diego Stocco's work, and what I've rarely seen happen in stuff involving crowd-sourcing, Twitter, etc. It tends to just be "cool" for the sake that it's using new technology and web correspondence, without really saying anything meaningful.

  • Peter Kirn

    @ktk7: Yes, written by Jaron Lanier, who had previously produced *exactly this sort of work*. 

    I'll wait until this is done to judge the artistic merits. Sometimes you can start with a gimmick of sorts and make it work.

  • In reply to ktk7 : "and what I’ve rarely seen happen in stuff involving crowd-sourcing, Twitter, etc. It tends to just be “cool” for the sake that it’s using new technology and web correspondence, without really saying anything meaningful."
    – Definitely agreed – the major component behind our installation and performance is the substance and meaning. The real challenge. We took out many of the typical 'gimmicky' components of using technology to do something cool just for the sake that it's cool, as you mentioned.

    The goal behind this concept is to pursue redefining crowd collaboration and contribution to a work of art, through more than simply cool use of technology. Nothing in our creation is random, but carefully analyzed and planned out. 

    The large musical library in the installation is triggered, manipulated and recorded based on tweets and specific discussions in those tweets; keywords, hash-tags, speaker names, key points in the talk, the relevance between the users tweeting (within the venue or global), and more.

    The meaning behind the performance is that it allows the crowd to participate, to influence the unpredictable artistic output that will be a result of physical and digital collaboration in real time. Again, these inputs will not be random, but relevant key words and inputs based on the days discussions and talks.

    After all, many technologies and installations are relevant and may have much more substance than one may think at first look. As AudioGeek mentioned above, its a progressive idea that may at least influence a positive direction in audience collaboration, crowd response, artistic contribution and more.

    All the best!


  • This kind of installations really inspires me. Just a few days ago I was wondering about something really similar to this project: audio and visual collaboration through twitter's keywords, hashtag and geotagging.

  • Randy

    Wow, Drasko, things are going well for you. This is very cool, congratulations!

  • usedtobe

    what's wrong with doing something because it's cool? it sometimes feels presumptuous to me when an artist demands that you hear their intended message. I friend of mine recently was with me when I was playing around on some synths and asked why I didn't make albums of that material, instead of the hipster macbook robot music I usually tend towards. I said "cuz it's lame and boring and doesn't mean anything" and he replied "dude, that's not for you to decide" !! which really got me thinkin…

    I totally dig this stuff Peter, keep it comin. I've always thought it'd be sweet to do a noise/experimental house party kind of thing where everyone's beer cup had fiducial markers on them, and little cameras were hidden everywhere, spawning synths and changing parameters based on what was goin on. would be sick!

  • Thanks guys! We're working hard on the installation and the performance and are excited to update you how it all goes!