Berklee Students pushing boundaries in music innovation

We've highlighted two exciting new projects from Carlos Egas & Francesca Pavesi

25 April 2018

TACTO – Textural Music Box

Tacto is an experimental instrument developed by Beatswin (Francesca Pavesi) that uses commonly found materials to develop a type of organic sound design which adds a new dimension to the artist’s sound.

In essence, TACTO is a wooden box with motors and electronics controlled by a laptop to create motion that will generate sounds which are then amplified using contact microphones. Then the sounds run into Ableton Live and is modified with real time effects to create rhythmic textures, noises and drones.

The main purpose behind the creation of this instrument stems from the necessity to reconsider what is usually taken for granted. Indeed, we are constantly surrounded by all types of sounds, but it is unlikely that we actively listen to them, let alone consider them as material for music. TACTO is a chance to reconsider these everyday simple sounds and integrate them into contemporary electronic music production.

Moreover, the idea is a reflection of Beatswin’s strong desire to combine the organic with the inorganic, the natural and the industrial, analog and digital. Ultimately, the aim is to bring these simple yet uncommon textural sounds into a live performance, where every noise is intertwined to create an “ embroidery of sounds ”.

The artist’s future plan is to further develop the Beatswin project , which combines TACTO’s textural sound design, electronic production and live trumpet. Together with extensive sonic exploration and manipulation, the goal is for the music to enter directly into your soul and fully transport you to a space where you can feel free to discover worlds yet unknown.

Tia Joyo

Tia Joyo, which means spiritual search, is a virtual reality audiovisual piece by Carlos Egas that looks for an organic integration between music, exploration and an immersive environment. Everything is inspired around the Ecuadorian tropical forest and its different elements and magic. It gives the user the liberty to explore and experience the different musical and visual pieces existing in this magical environment.

The thought process:

My goal is for these different art forms to blend as organically as possible, therefore identifying Ecuadorian elements as main concept, as they are my inspiration. The music is made based on different traditional musical forms and instruments/samples which I then modified and mixed with a more contemporary downtempo music genre. Same with visuals, I am collecting and recreating traditional ideas, color palettes, flora, fauna and traditions and creating different and cohesive visual pieces. So, finally by giving the user the ability to experience all of this in an immersive virtual environment, which wouldn’t be available otherwise, the experience becomes complete.

The vision:

I’ve always wanted to find a way to express my art in a not so linear environment and as a result began to experience into newer media and user driven experiences. I wanted to create a piece that self-contains a part of what my music, my visuals, and my identity are about, and of course giving the user the driver’s seat of the experience, so as a result the idea of Tia Joyo is born. After a lot of prototyping (which still is not over) and iterating, I finally found myself creating a virtual reality environment that can accomplish this creative desire.

Your future plans:

By starting my exploration into virtual reality, the next obvious phase of my music has become adapting to spatial audio. In fact, I am implementing this into the newer version of Tia Joyo. I feel music has so much to explore into the different object based format protocols (such as Ambisonics) or 3D formats (Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D), and now that easy binaural de codification of mentioned formats is available, we can really push for a more exciting and equally accessible method of sharing our art. So mainly my future work and learning path are geared towards spatial audio and its implementation on different media and of course keep creating music and art that inspires me and hopefully everyone that experiences it!

Serena Aboudaher

The project is a concept EP album that includes songs that are influenced by numerous genres of music, including experimental music, electronics, jazz, Arabic and hiphop along with visuals that are influenced by surrealism, minimalism, abstract and dada-ism. My purpose for this project is to be able to help challenge myself to make music out of my comfort zone by experiencing music and art through the soul and less from the “mind.” I view music as a form of education that would require introspection; to be able to look within oneself and to truly understand the difference between creating music that may arise from the mind or from the soul.

Being able to differentiate this factor would lead to a greater understanding, and a higher level of education towards music and art making. Along with this knowledge, the ability to distinguish the two and use each skill separately will undoubtedly be beneficial. I view the spiritual aspect of Music making as the side that truly holds the knowledge. The experience is how musicians are educated in their field.; this is one of the struggles that as a young growing artist am facing and hope to face, and overcome throughout my creative career.

The connection of the mind and soul is a vital factor for daily life, especially in the production of music and art. I intend to be able to inspire others to cancel out the noises in their heads by expressing my emotional view and thought process via the medium of my work. Essentially, this can be viewed as a source for expression, allowing audiences to relate and feel as they belong to a bigger society that shares the same views.

Website –

Berklee Valencia MPTI Professor Pierce Warnecke will be leading a workshop session on Realtime Video Synthesis at IMS Ibiza 2018, showing participants a simple but effective approach to designing abstract geometric visuals for live performance using the V-Synth Library in Max.

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