London Sinfonietta – Make Do & Bend

In 2016 the hub teamed up with the London Sinfonietta and NESTA to develop Make, Do and Bend, a project bringing together musicians, composers and creative technologists to explore how digital technology can open up new forms of interaction.


The first part of Make, Do and Bend was an invite-only affair – an intensive 12 hours of sharing, making and testing during a 1-day mini Lab at NESTA HQ. Designed for a carefully curated group of 30 composers, artists, producers and creative technologists, we shook things up with an early morning provocation from the always provocative Matthew Herbert, NESTA’s Tim Plyming and DoES Liverpool’s Adrian McEwan. Then it was wonder wall time. First off we asked people to add any themes or areas of practice that they wanted to maybe explore, and then hone in on specific things they might like to build, prototype or play around with. Then it was time for everyone to pick the project they most wanted to work on, and, before you knew it, we had 6 teams ready and raring to go. They spent the afternoon plotting, thinking, making, stopping making and re-thinking, making over until about 6pm (aka beer o’clock), when suddenly it was all to play for, as our teams each pitched their ideas to the group. At stake? £1500 of development money. Half an hour later, with all votes cast, the votes were in, and our winning team was announced as Team Sound Sweep. And that was that – for day 1 at least. All that remained was for us to retire gracefully (ahem!) to a nearby pub, and carry on with our plotting… (You can see how the Lab unfolded in our Storify here and some of our fave moments here.)


Fast forward to mid July, and it’s time for part 2, this time at Central St Martins in the heart of the now very cool Kings Cross. Our Make Do & Bend One Dayer was a mind-bending one day conference that explored the future of live music, how innovations in technology are being embraced by artists, and how this is disrupting what being ‘in the audience’ means. Our six hour day in the heart of the King’s Cross creative campus included:
– Two big-picture panels, one focused on what the direction of travel is for live music and technology, and the other exploring what good digital R&D looks like
– Postcards from the future of how composition, live music and digital technologies will interact
– Tasting menu sessions, where some of the biggest innovators in the country shared their favourite live performance and digital projects (see a summary here)
– Workshops exploring some of the ideas developed in our Ideas Lab (see what happened here)


Our stellar line up of contributors included: Katy Beale, Caper; Jack Churchill, Ogilvy Innovations Labs; Rachel Coldicutt, Dot Everyone; Sarah Ellis, RSC; Leafcutter John (musician); Leila Johnson (artist and creative technologist); Nick Luscombe (DJ and broadcaster); Louis Mustill, Artists & Engineers; Tim Plyming, NESTA; Nick Ryan (composer and sound designer), and Erika Shorter, Uniform.


All this, plus attenders also got the chance to demo a whole load of kit and get inside the ‘back end’ of some brilliant projects with Kinicho, the Gloves project, Uniform, and current technologists in residence at Rambert, Mária Júdová and Andrej Boleslavský.


You can see how things unfolded across the day here and here.