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  • Writer's pictureMartina Dodić

NASA scientists, artists and innovators at Pangea Campus

#MTFLabs, hosted by Infobip at their HQ Campus Pangea brought Music Tech Festival’s global community of experts to Istria, Croatia this May. It is yet another sign of growing IT and innovation community shaping itself in this Northern Adriatic peninsula, stunned by the international success of the host, first unicorn ever to be founded in this part of the world, and one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe.

MTFLabs were previously held in Stockholm (Sweden), Karlsruhe (Germany), and more recently Frankfurt. They are multi-day, innovation intensive events that bring together engineers, researches, NASA scientists, artists and musicians. Their spiritus movens Michela Magas is an advisor to G7 leaders and 2017 European Innovator of the year.

The small town of Vodnjan could have seemed an unlikely stop for MTFLabs, if it wasn’t home to Infobip and their IT campus, a stunning center of innovation in Communication Platform as a Service area. CPaaS is deemed one of the key components for enterprises in the design of processes, operations and customer communications on digital platforms.

Vodnjan’s edition of MTFLabs was built around an idea of combining Infobip’s cutting-edge voice platform that focuses on accent and precision with Vocal AI, which explores emotion and character in sounds.

The impact of voice in synaesthesia, cymatics, frequencies, generative systems, and accessibility was explored. Consonna was happy to participate in the MTFLabs opening sessions. Magas shared her belief that creative industries have tons to contribute to the worlds of science and programming, and take the innovation potential to a whole new level.

CJ Carr shared how AI was able to generate heavy metal music pieces, based on samples fed into it. The AI learning pattern and progression from utter noise towards more and more “real” music pieces, were both curious and thought-provoking, opening a series of questions on the nature of artistic creation. Scholar and scientist Kelly Snook showcased her work on a musical instrument for scientific exploration, rooted in Harmonies of the World (1619) by Johannes Kepler, in which he analysed the harmony and movement of space bodies. He built on the “music of the spheres” concept, explored by Pythagoras, Ptolemy and others. Mordechai Braunstein uses cymatics (how sound affects matter) in workshops for children, enabling them to feel the music through the vibration of various materials.

MTFLabs brought opportunities for the University of Pula as well. Their Visio Science Technology Institute joined the vibrant Sister Moon tech & art performance by Martine-Nicole Rojina. This project used the Dwingello radio telescope, and broadcasted short radio signals and bits of music that bounced off the Moon surface. Specially trained robot hands were used to transcribe signals, all in real time. Participants' voices were bounced off the surface of the Moon, as well as short pieces of "La Canterina" by Joseph Haydn and song “Iznad oblaka” by Pula’s pop band Nola.

Art, technology, IT and programming proved to be a stunning mix, capable of unleashing potent innovation and opening new horizons. Kudos to Infobippers Monika Ivanovic for bringing this event to the Campus, as well as Iva Skorin, Mario Vukelic, IT Tech crew and others that made sure things went smooth from the very start.

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