Elaine Chew had the beautiful opportunity to visit the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, located outside Taipei, for the International Workshop on Computer Music and Audio Technology (WOCMAT), 13-14 December 2019. Many thanks to Professors Vonwun Soo and Jeff Huang, for the kind invitation to give the opening keynote and play some piano pieces at WOCMAT this year.
WOCMAT, now in its 15th year, is led largely by a community of Taiwanese computer musicians, many of whom were students of Marc Battier. Marc was for many years musical assistant to prominent composers (Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philippe Manoury, etc.) at IRCAM, then Professor at the Sorbonne University. He is now Professor at Shenzhen University, setting up a Music Innovation Center.
Other keynote and invited speakers included Naotoshi Osaka (Tokyo Denki University), who spoke on sound collage using non-negative matrix factorization, Axel Robel (IRCAM), who spoke on deep learning for sound texture synthesis, Ken Paoli (College of DuPage), who gave homage to the work of Phil Winsor, Sever Tipei (University of Illinois), who spoke on using seives to generate rhythm notation, and Deepti Navaratna (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts), who gave an overview of recent work on neurocognitive music therapy. Other presentations including new work by Yi-Wen Liu (NTHU, Stanford EE/CCRMA alum) on automatic classification of head vs. chest voice.
The visit also provided a rare opportunity to catch up with former research student Yun-Ching Chen, from the University of Southern California, and his sister Yi-Shin Chen, now a Professor at NTHU, and family. An early morning run/walk in the nearby Eighteen Peak Mountain brought gorgeous views of distant mountain ranges bathed in the morning sun.