Meet the ten successful recipients of our Creative AI Music and Audio Pilot Project funding

Ben Cantil performs at the Creative Informatics AI Showcase

We’re pleased to share details of the ten successful recipients of our Creative AI Music and Audio Pilot Project funding, who each received £5,000 of Research and Development funding for ground breaking new projects using AI in the areas of music and audio.

The Creative AI Music and Audio Pilot Project is part of our Creative AI Demonstrator, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to discover the potential for Creative AI for creatives working across Scotland.

The recipients
The projects receiving £5,000 for small scale, innovative research and develop projects with the objective of producing new products and services using Creative AI in the areas of music and audio are, in alphabetical order:

BearHammer Games Limited, BlackGoblin, DataMind Audio, Jamie Grier, Martin Disley, Painting Music Limited, Playable Technology Limited, Studio Scott Myles / Oscar Middleton, Synthetic, Theodore Koterwas.

All 10 projects are well underway and we’ve loved seeing some some of the results at recent events. Painting Music and DataMind Audio presented public demonstrations at our Creative AI showcases in Glasgow and Dundee while Theodore Koterwas’ work previewed at Inspace in November. You can find out more about Metempsychosis ex Machina in this short film.

Nicola Osborne, Creative Informatics Programme Manager, said:
“We have been watching the development of Creative AI – which rests upon the use of data and data driven innovation in the creative industries – for some time and we have seen a huge increase in interest and projects using AI across Creative Informatics and the wider creative industries in recent years.  We think there is far more potential for AI and machine learning (ML) in creative work in a way which benefits creative practitioners, whether that’s using AI behind the scenes to support much more strategic use of data, to enable work to be made in new and/or more efficient ways, to work with much larger datasets than have been possible before, or to help discovery, search and use.  

We are particularly excited to explore Creative AI in music and sound in the Creative AI Music and Audio Pilot Projects – areas in which creatives in Scotland have particularly strong expertise, sound ethics and start-up acumen – whether coming from music production, filmmaking, gaming, work with voices and speech, work with audio archives, and wider perspectives. We look forward to the groundbreaking advances that we know our award recipients will make with this R&D specific funding, and the benefits which they will bring to a range of creatives and their work.”

The wider Creative AI Demonstrator project has included scoping workshops online and in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, aiming to discover what facilities, skills and support creative practitioners in Scotland feel are needed for them to confidently and successfully engage in AI developments; along with a survey open to creatives to further explore these topics.

Learnings from the programme will result in the publication of a new white paper, feed into potential research and funding proposals, shape future events around this topic, and be disseminated throughout the Creative Informatics network and beyond to inform a network of training and support for Scottish creatives who wish to experiment with using Creative AI.

About the recipients

BearHammer Games Limited:
An independent VR games team dedicated to both VR client projects and independent game development. Their thrilling, immersive adventure fitness game, Venture’s Gauntlet VR, set in breathtaking landscapes based on Scottish environments is now available on Steam. Test your stamina, accuracy, wit and reflexes as you navigate treacherous terrain, solve puzzles, and navigate obstacles.

Black Goblin is the culmination of over a decade of work in the creative industries. Co-founded by sound design duo, Ana Betancourt and Gabrielle Haley, the company is built on an alliance with a common cause: accessible sound design for all.

DataMind Audio:
A pioneering company that operates at the intersection of music and artificial intelligence (AI). Created by musicians for musicians – and led by electronic music producer, educator-entrepreneur and technologist, Ben Cantil – their mission is to produce innovative electronic instruments that leverage the power of AI to expand and augment human creativity and capability in the realm of sound design.

Jamie Grier:
Jamie Grier is a sound engineer and programmer with a BSc in multimedia & Electronics. Working in collaboration with art, music and theatre companies, specifying, designing and implementing digital solutions for installation, providing electronics and software development on a project basis.

Synthetic is a generative systems design lab founded by Lucas Godfrey. The lab works across research and product development, with a focus on empowering people to radically shape their creative workflow. We are working on technologies and products that support ‘no-code’ interactions for creating and refining highly personalised software tools.

Martin Disley:
With Murad Khan, Martin Disley leads Unit Test, a creative research studio based in Edinburgh, Scotland that collaborates internationally. We work with engineers, designers, and researchers to produce research, public engagement artefacts, artworks, software and other R&D projects that investigate the social implications of computational systems and explore their radical application.

Painting Music Limited:
Developed in collaboration with AI developers Dr Starkey and Jack Craven from Aberdeen University, Painting Music is the creation of Dr Kate Steenhauer and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create music from live painted drawings. The AI algorithm is based on the type of learning used by the human brain and exploits areas of similarity within the two distinct artforms to respond to the live-painted elements, producing musical notes that reflect the development of the evolving artwork.

Playable Technology Limited:
Playable Technology is a development agency that specialises in bringing innovative creative technology to market. With extensive industry experience in developing, launching and supporting new products and technologies in the consumer marketplace, they offer a wholistic approach to product and business development that draws on our industry experience to translate ideas into products and make them a reality. Their innovative BeatBlocks app, which allows users to build music in real-time with traditional children’s building blocks, is now available on the App store.

Studio Scott Myles / Oscar Middleton:
Scott Myles is an artist born in Dundee, Scotland in 1975. He currently lives and works in Glasgow. His work has been exhibited in museums, and galleries around the world including Secession, Vienna; Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich; Tate Britain, London; Tate Modern, London; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve; Tate Liverpool, Liverpool; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Menil Collection, Houston; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.

Oscar Middleton is an artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. They graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography. Their research and output is firmly based in sound and audio; digital and analog signal processing technologies are central to their practice. Through a burgeoning collaborative practice and an ongoing engagement with digital audio processes they began to learn and use the open source programming language Processing and subsequently Max/MSP. Their work concentrates on exploring the potential crossovers between the visual and the sonic. This research was solidified in 2020/21 during an MDes (Sound for the Moving Image) passing with distinction.

Theodore Koterwas:
Theodore Koterwas is an artist and musician working with sound, artificial intelligence and the human body. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has produced work for the Exploratorium in San Francisco, University of Oxford, The University of Edinburgh, Aberdeen Performing Arts, David Byrne and the Edinburgh Science Festival. His AI generated installation The Nth Wave was shortlisted for the 2021 Lumen Prize. Currently he is exploring how embodied interactions with data and AI impact on how we relate to technology, each other and the environment.


For updates on programmes and events, sign up to our mailing list