Together Boston shows power of collaboration

The Together team at District Hall
The Together team at District Hall

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries – video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples – are an important part of Massachusetts’ economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

By David Day

As the Together team has been planning our week-long celebration of all things music, art and technology in Boston, one thing has become abundantly clear: There is considerable power in collaboration.

And this theme is reflected in our Together Talks, a series of lectures and product demos throughout the days Thursday through Sunday, May 15th-18th at District Hall.

The last two years, we were primarily a Cambridge-focused event and while we still have a considerable amount of events in Central and Harvard Squares, for four days we are fortunate enough to call the “Home of Innovation” in Boston our home. There, in their dexterous and incredibly useful space, we’ll host a series of demos, lectures and “Together Talks,” all of which is free and open to the public. Consider this an open invitation to the Innovation community to see what collaboration is all about.

Music software teams like (Cambridge-based) iZotope will be on hand Thursday to demo a few of their cutting-edge programs. Friday and Saturday, the Berlin-based Ableton pays Boston a visit to demonstrate vocal processing and much more, including the collaborative effort known as the Data Garden, which makes music using plants.

Yes, plants.

The District Hall lecture halls will then host Community Day (Thursday), Technology Day (Friday), Music Day (Saturday), and Art Day (Sunday), featuring presentations from MIT, MassArt, Harvard Business School and so much more.

The question you might be asking is: Why? Why do all this?

That Boston is a hub of technology is nothing new, but what is new is that the eyes of the technologically-oriented global community are now on us. We’ve gone from being the secret weapon for corporations to being the home to those corporations. Our schools, unbound by perhaps older traditions, are churning out innovation like Detroit used to churn out cars. It’s time to not just recognize this, but celebrate it.

We’re taking the technology out of the lab and into the streets. We’ve already put the technology at District Hall into the hands of creative coders and programmers alike. We’re having a collaborative Cryptoparty with the Mass Pirate Party at General Assembly Sunday May 18. We’re celebrating the legacy of the modular synthesizer also that day: a technology very much pushed forward with larger intra-school cooperation from professors and inventors from MIT, Berklee College of Music and beyond.

As our visiting artists come in from all over the world to perform for the city, we’re going to put our best face-forward and own the space. Together Boston has always been on the cutting-edge of music and have put some considerable art on display and now comes the time to look at technology and say: your turn.

Whether that is in music tech or organizations like GroupMuse and Cadenza; Andy Sellers from the Berkman Center, or Anthony Flackett’s 10 year-old Beat Research class at MassArt; George Fifield’s massive LED art screens or Brian Kane’s wearables from the Rhode Island School of Design. All of these discussions and demos are free of charge.

If you’re too busy to go out too late, I understand; believe me, keep working. But the Together team is honored and excited to welcome you to District Hall and hope you’ll participate in the ongoing discussion about the synthesis of music, art and technology, May 15th through the 18th.

Let’s celebrate the power of collaboration.

David Day is Creative Director and founder of Together Boston.

[We are thankful for Global Business Hub’s support of the Creative Industries. Please note: This article does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development or its Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth, nor is it an endorsement of any views, products, or opinions contained therein. The author is solely responsible for the content.]