Music Hackspace at Hack the Barbican


About the event

In response to the Trampery’s exciting invitation to join the festival Hack the Barbican, the Music Hackspace proposes a set of activities devised with the aim of bridging, wiring, linking, gating and opening new spaces for collaboration between creative groups and curious minds, allowing the community to relocate its regular activities whilst extending its shareful and adventurous philosophy. This networked multi-directional approach takes the form of site-specific explorations, engaging learning activities and resonating performances. These are structured around an evolving and intrepid itinerary through open research and inspiring free wandering in the Barbican Centre during the month of August.



  • Monday 5th of August, 6pm-10pm, Barbican Freestage: OxLork [Oxford Laptop Orchestra]
  • Thursday 8th of August, 8pm-9.30pm, Barbican Freestage: Music Hackspace Workshops Anniversary Programme
  • 7th-16th of August , Barbican Fountain Room: ‘Sound hack the Barbican’ with Kacper Ziemianin (residency project)
  • Saturday 10th and 11th of August, Barbican Fountain Room foyer: ’60 minute studio’ with Tom Webster and Peter Foreman
  • Tuesday 15th of August 7pm -11pm, Barbican Clubstage: Music Hackspace performances night
  • 19th -26th August, Barbican Club Stage: Cave of Sounds by Tim Murray-Browne and the Music Hackspace Ensemble (interactive installation)
  • Thursday 22nd of August, Barbican Club Stage: Cave of Sounds private view
  • 29th of August, 3pm-6pm, Barbican Fountain Room: Material Studies group (Blanca Regina, Matthias Kispert and Andrew Riley)



– OxLork [Oxford Laptop Orchestra] (Monday 5th of August, 6pm-10pm at the Barbican Freestage). A performance by this celebrated group whose members control musical parameters digitally, in real time, with a wide variety of different controllers. Members of the orchestra are trained to code new pieces for the ensemble and to perform with their laptops, dance mats, and other digital devices, all of which aid in the creation of maximally expressive digital instruments. OxLOrk performs with specially designed hemisphere speakers, which mimic the sonic properties of acoustic instruments and allow listeners to perceive each member of the ensemble as an individual performer. Formed in 2012, the ensemble seeks to spark new kinds of creativity – musical, artistic, and intellectual. OxLOrk have already gained a notable reputation, attracting large audiences to their concerts, featuring at the Ashmolean Live Friday and appearing on BBC Radio.





– Music Hackspace Workshops Anniversary Programme (Thursday 8th of August, 8pm-9.30pm at the Barbican Freestage). It’s been now one year since the Music Hackpsace started its regular workshops programme. Sharing knowledge is a key part of the activities the group hosts and develops as an open community of artists, hackers, musicians and software developers. In line with this approach, the Music Hackspace workshops programme was initiated in July 2012 with the objective of providing regular learning activities, which are practice-based and related to sound and technology. Since then 12 workshops have been organised, covering areas such as circuit bending, wearable electronics, Max/MASP, DIY synth kits and even Hi-tech kitchenware with electronics, Arduino and Ableton. On the 8th of August we are celebrating our Workshops programme 1st year anniversary with an evening of performances by the some of our workshops leaders and participants. A unique opportunity to see and hear the instruments we’ve built during the year!


workshop 2


– ‘Sound hack the Barbican’ with Kacper Ziemianin (residency project during 7th-16th of August at the Barbican Fountain Room). Microphones placed all around the Barbican Centre will capture and reproduce the natural sonic environment and the aural aesthetics of the building.


– ’60 minute studio’ with Tom Webster and Peter Foreman (Saturday 10th and 11th of August at the Barbican Fountain Room foyer). The public is invited to perform with analogue synthesisers during one hour. These sessions are made public into the internet in real time.


– Music Hackspace night of performances (Tuesday 15th of August 7pm -11pm at the Barbican Clubstage). Event curated for Hack the Barbican by Blanca Regina. Artists are invited to showcase, explore and perform their sound and visual projects. Themes revolve around hacking and bespoke instruments, DIY, gathering and language. Acts include Iris Garrelfs, King Sara, Sharon Gal, Cassiel, Andrew Ostler and Blanca Regina & Leafcutter John.


– Cave of Sounds (19th -26th August at the Barbican Clubstage). The Cave of Sounds is an interactive sound installation created by artist in residence Tim Murray-Browne with members of the Music Hackspace. It’s the outcome of the Ensemble project, exploring what it means to hack new musical interfaces together. The work features eight new musical instruments, created individually by Music Hackspace members Borja Alexandre, Dom Aversano, Tim Murray-Browne, Sus Garcia, Wallace Hobbes, Daniel Lopez, Tadeo Sendon, Panagiotis Tigas and Kacper Ziemianin. You can find out more about the process behind their creation on the Ensemble project page. Arranged in a circle facing inwards, members of the audience are invited to explore, experiment and experience improvising music with others around them. The instruments are all digital and networked together, allowing them to subtly align in terms of harmony and tempo. Projected onto the ground between them is a visualisation showing musical connections between participants that the installation has detected. The work will be exhibited downstairs at the Barbican as a part of Hack the Barbican, outside the stalls entrance to the concert hall and running from the 19th until the 26th of August at the Barbican’s Clubstage, and will have it’s private view on Thursday 22nd from 7pm.



An early prototype of the Cave of Sounds being demoed at Music Tech Festival, May 2013.

An early prototype of the Cave of Sounds being demoed at Music Tech Festival, May 2013.


– Material Studies (29th of August, 3pm-6pm at the Barbican Fountain Room).  The Material Studies Group was formed in 2012 and has since created a number of workshops focused on playful collective explorations of the sounds within matter. So far, workshops have been held at Sound// Space at V22 Summer Club, at SoundFjord Gallery and Cafe Oto, with guest participants including Steve Beresford, Iris Garrelfs and Ryan Jordan among others. For the Hack the Barbican , the Material Studies group (Blanca Regina, Matthias Kispert and Andrew Riley) will conduct and play in a session/workshop of 3 hours divided in 2 explorations at the Fountain Room and at the Lake Patio. For this session we will use multiple materials as cardboard, paper, wood and plastic. Audience can became a participant in any moment. Join us and explore the sound of the materials in a playful experience!



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