Eurosonic will be in full swing this week, with the city filled with musicians and music industry professionals from all over Europe. But it’s not just the bands that makes Groningen the European music capital; these four companies, working in between the overlap of technology and innovation, certainly contribute to making sure Groningen maintains that status.
Internationally acclaimed online music platform Chordify automatically gives you the chords for any song, along with an intuitive player for piano, guitar and ukulele. Chordify uses a self learning computer algorithm, which analyzes a song on YouTube, Deezer or SoundCloud, within seconds.
The startup also has a special connection with the festival: “Exactly 5 years ago, we officially launched our company during Eurosonic”, co-founder Gijs Bekenkamp says. “So it’s our birthday! This week is all about celebrating, with our own pop up venue in the The Music and Tech Hideout."
A self learning computer algorithm has another local and musical application. Goldmund. Wyldebeast & Wunderliebe and BroadcastRadar presented HitWizard during Eurosonic last year, an algorithm that learns based on airplay and unique song characteristics and predicts whether or not a song will end up in the Spotify Top 200.
Co-founder Ard Boer also pitched the idea during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas and the Amsterdam Dance Event last year: “Hitwizard was a really cool project for us. It’s great to be able to show how Artificial Intelligence and technological innovations can help the music industry.”
Hosting the biggest music showcase festival in Europe is great, but what about the noise complaints? Groningen based startup SoundAppraisal developed an app for that, called MoSART. With the app, users can rate how they experience ambient noise, and in an online dashboard, those measurements and ratings are visualized in real time.
The startup was nominated for the BUMA Music Meets Tech Award last year, and during the festival, an early version of the app was tested. SoundAppraisal CEO Kirsten van den Bosch: “It was really cool to be a part of the festival. Working with Innofest and the visibility we got from Eurosonic, has played a big role in our app becoming successful. We’re noticing festivals and government institutions becoming more focused on (social) sustainability, and with also how people experience noise and noise pollution. They’re slowly moving away the ‘people as decibel meters’ approach, which is something we can really applaud.”
Artist collective WERC has always been fascinated by the connection between the digital and physical world and has been making awesome installation and light art for all the biggest Dutch festivals. Recently, the collective also made international headlines with Pixi, a collection of pulsating lights in the forest of northern Drenthe, acting like a digital organism and imitating a swarm of fireflies, a flock of sparrows or shoals of fish.
A few years back, when the city theatre was still under construction during Eurosonic, WERC transformed the building into a dynamic work of art, using 3D mapping. “Because of the reconstruction, the whole building was draped in white. This presented us with the opportunity to create building mapping ‘without’ the existing building. Normally you have to design with the architecture of the building itself in mind, but now we were able to transform the theatre into other types of buildings, ranging from church to apartment building”, WERC co-founder Olav Huizer explains.