STEIM in its idyllic surroundings – sixth building from the right. Photo courtesy Florian Grote.

Earlier this week, I got some welcome news: the STEIM performance research and development center in Amsterdam is safe for now. STEIM has been a real hub for people doing work in sound around the world, not just in Amsterdam, as many readers here described. That means this should be good news for all of us – and it also demonstrates that, while the state funding upon which Europe has traditionally relied is endangered, making the right argument could protect institutions there. The question of what should get state funding started an interesting and passionate debate here, but at the same time, it’s good to see these folks defending what they believe.

See some video of crazy STEIM sonic projects on their Vimeo channel.

And in other news, speaking of reaping some benefits from STEIM:

  • A new version 4 of their JunXion software is coming next week for manipulating controllers like mice, game pads, joysticks, HID devices, and even video motion tracking (below) on Mac OS X. There’s a nice preview on Mormo’s blog Basement Hum; expect more next week
  • There’s a big party in Amsterdam all next week with workshops (including JunXion 4), performances, and more. I was actually invited to go but couldn’t last-minute; the lineup looks fantastic. Next time (perhaps once some of my own research and development is further along)!

JunXion software for Mac adds more powerful support for alternative controllers, now including video tracking. (Note: interface seen here may not be final.)

Here’s the official thank you, which can go to those at CDM who included their support:

We have good news: STEIM is safe for now and will be able to continue doing her work.

The Dutch Council for Culture has reversed their initially negative decision.They were without a doubt impressed by the well over 1000 insightful, eloquent, personal letters of support from all over the world, which we received in just under two weeks. This, as well as some other factors, played a large role in opening their perception of STEIM’s importance and contribution to our community and field.

We cannot thank you enough. You helped us realize again how extensive and faithful the network around us is. We are excited and thrilled that we can keep working with you and continue to build collaborations, connections and exchanges.

STEIM is bound for change, but we will fight to keep its spirit intact. Michel Waisvisz has left us, but along with his legacy of inventions and a very human ‘touch’, he has left a dynamic team behind. Under the guidance of our new director, Dick Rijken, our task is now to create a new structure that will honour both our history as an institution and look forward into the future. STEIM is what STEIM
does: supporting a wide community of artists and composers, musicians and other performers in their search for great art, on stage, in the studio, in gallery spaces and on the streets. We will continue to be a safe house for an international community, bringing people together in our guesthouse and studio’s.

Together with you, we aim to remain both the oldest and the youngest electronic institute in the Netherlands and are thrilled to continue working with you.


And here’s info on the (well-deserved) Jamboree (with plenty of video links, if you can’t be in Amsterdam and want to live vicariously through YouTube):

STEIM Micro Jamboree 2008

PERIOD: Dec 8 Monday – Dec 11 Thursday


Micro Jamboree Sessions – Free but reservation required

Jamboree Concert – 5 euros


Main Entry: jam·bo·ree

Pronunciation: ˌjam-bə-ˈrē

Function: verb

Etymology: origin unknown

1: a noisy or unrestrained carouse 2 a: a large festive gathering b: a national or international camping assembly of Boy & Girl Scouts 3: a long mixed program of entertainment

STEIM is hosting it’s 2nd Micro Jamboree this Dec. 8-11, 2008. Featuring 4 days of creativity and excellence in the future of electronic music through a wealth of presentations, discussions, and performances. An intense 7 sessions of lectures, demos, and discussions held by the most innovative artists, musicians, and instrument designers in the field will be hosted in STEIM’s studios. An intellectual jam on creative musical software, modern sensor interfaces, alternative energy sources for electronic music, rhythm and sequencing for live performances, and more!

At night STEIM moves to the Smart Project Space on Dec. 10th and 11th for the Jamboree concerts for 2 large and festive gatherings  of noisy and unrestrained carouse. The 5th edition of Turntable Music Night will feature 4 acts, but 8 turntables. The 2nd concert night will be a plethora of controllers, voice, samplers, a cowboy suit, and even a Wii for individual performances. Concurrently, experience the STEIM Mobile Touch exhibition in the concert venue where you can make your own electronic music with the Finger Web or make some noise with the Crackle Box.

Sessions at STEIM have limited capacity, reservations required.

Concerts at Smart Project Space have unlimited capacity, 5 euros entrance fee.


David Zicarelli (US), Sukandar Kartadinata (DE), Andy Schmeder (US), Kjetil Hansen (SE), Kassen (NL), One Man Nation (NL), Jamie Allen (CA), Brian Degger (UK), Ben Knapp (UK), Dieb13 (AT), Stig and Pussy Crew (IR), Institut fur Feinmotorik (DE), Alex Nowitz (DE), Robot Cowboy(AT), Heidi Mortensen(DK) and more!


Day 1, Monday Dec 8 //////////////////////////////////

Welcoming from STEIM

Session 1: Opening Presentation

David Zicarelli (Cycling 74) – On Max 5 and creative musical software

Frank Balde (STEIM Software Designer) – Release and demo of new features in JunXion 4


Day 2, Tuesday Dec 9 //////////////////////////////////

Session 2: Modern Sensor Interfaces

Sukandar Kartadinata (Instrument Designer, Gluion Developer) – Developing sensor instruments and platforms for artists

Andy Schmeder (CNMAT Researcher, Developer of uOSC) – uOSC; OpenSoundConroll framework for USB and multiple sensor platforms

Session 3: On Mapping – techniques and future possibilities

Organized and hosted by Robert van Heumen (STEIM) and Daniel Schorno (STEIM) with invited guests


Day 3, Wednesday Dec 10 //////////////////////////////////

Session 4: Turntable Music – the practice and its future direction

Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen (Scratch Researcher, PhD candidate at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Takuro Mizuta Lippit (STEIM) – Turntable Music in the digital era

sion 5: Rhythm and Sequencing for live performances

Kassen (DJ, performer, ChucK programmer) – improvising house music with custom software and game controllers

One Man Nation (musician, producer) – techniques in live sequencing and beat generation in Ableton Live and PD

Jamboree Concert 1: Turntable Music Night 5 at Smart Project Space

Dieb13 – Turntable improvisations with custom software

Stig and Pussy Crew – Turntables, feedback and visuals

Institut fur Feinmotorik – Turntable soundscape with 4 performers 8 turntables

dj sniff – Turntable reconstructions


Day4, Thursday Dec 11 //////////////////////////////////

Session 6: Energy Music – Exploring new approaches to electronic music generative energy sources and off-the-grid art and performance work.

Jamie Allen (Musician, Artist, Researcher at Newcastle University, UK)

Brian Degger (Researcher, Artist)

Ben Knapp (Engineer, Instrument Builder, Professor at SARC, Co-Founder of BioControl, UK)

Session 7: Closing Panel Discussion – Excellence in Electronic Music

Panel TBA

Jamboree Concert 2 at Smart Project Space

Alex Nowitz – Voice, Wiimote and LiSa

Jamie Allen – Circuit Music

Robot Cowboy – Robot Cowboy suit, midi guitar, controllers

Heidi Mortensen – voice and sampling