BIMM Panels Impress At Reeperbahn Festival

5 October, 2018

The city of Hamburg has once again cemented its place as an international music destination by hosting another successful Reeperbahn Festival. Music lovers from all around the globe flocked to the district of St. Pauli to experience the diverse programme of over 600 concerts by German and international artists across 90 different venues. And, of course, BIMM was centre-stage in contributing to the diverse and cutting-edge programme.

The college hosted a series of talks and panel discussions as part of Reeperbahn Festival’s conference for members of the music and digital industries, attracting some of Hamburg’s most highly regarded international musicians (who also happen to be BIMM lecturers) to speak at the event on Saturday 22nd September at the Festival Village’s Spiegeltent.

First up in the afternoon was a panel discussion involving four legendary movers and shakers of the Hamburg music industry: musician Ilgen-Nur; frontman of The Jeremy Days, co-founder of Tapete Records and BIMM Songwriting Tutor, Dirk Darmstaedter; Rick McPhail – the American guitarist and keyboardist for German chart-toppers Tocotronic and BIMM Songwriting and Performance Tutor; and musician, author and BIMM Songwriting Tutor, Frank Spilker of Die Sterne.

The session was called ‘Music and Job Market Hamburg: Lessons in Humility and Self-Promotion’ and was an opportunity for the four special guests to discuss the Hamburg music industry, its place on the international stage and life as a creative musician in the city. The panel’s approach to discussing the music industries of Hamburg and Berlin was relaxed, indicative of their extensive experience, with the group heralding Hamburg as a groundbreaking city for instrument-driven music and praising the growth of its electronic music scene.

Next up was BIMM tutor and BIMM Berlin Head of Music Production, Jane Arnison – the Australian house/techno producer and DJ who now calls Germany home and is one half of the dark wave duo Evvol

In Jane’s session, ‘The Problem With #FemaleProducers: Deconstructing the Complexities of Gender in the Music Industry’, she took an honest look at the current position of both men and women in the patriarchal system which still exists within the music business. She questioned whether female empowerment was becoming a mere gimmick and marketing tool which tended to hinder rather than help the cause. Jane finished up by discussing a range of ways in which she feels lasting and positive gender change in the music industry can be accomplished.

Concluding BIMM’s involvement for the day was Noah Pred – BIMM Berlin’s Electronic Music Production Module Leader – with his session ‘Harnessing Chaos: Navigating Possible Futures in the Studio and Beyond’. Canadian-born Noah is a Juno Award-nominated electronic producer, instrument and sound designer, acclaimed DJ and label head, and Canada’s first Ableton-Certified Trainer. Noah’s session explored the unique challenges facing music creators and technologists in an era of machine learning and artificial intelligence. He discussed the future of music production technology – focusing initially on an overview of how artists create music traditionally and moving on to how we can develop AI to assist us.

Noah’s talk was set to a backdrop of music, and minds were blown when he revealed at the end that the sounds were created by a new development he’s been working on – an artificially intelligent process of automated music generation based on a set of parameters which enable the music that’s playing to write the music as it plays! Following the successful session, Noah said: “I think it’s always important to share ideas with new communities of like-minded people. Reeperbahn was a perfect opportunity to connect with members of the music industry from all over Germany and Europe.”

The afternoon was a fantastic occasion for those in attendance to celebrate the influence and individuality of Hamburg’s music industry. We’d like to thank our amazing BIMM lecturers for hosting such memorable sessions and for being truly inspiring musicians at the forefront of one of the world’s most exciting places for music.

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