Take a look at the robot above. If you’re thinking, “that thing looks like it’s probably capable of playing those strings in 3 different ways — as a piano, a guitar, or a violin — and it can probably do it faster than the average human musician,” then well… that’s an awfully good guess. That awesome piece of technology was designed by Daniel Trostli, who sits on the Together Tech Board, and it was designed to bring some of the flexibility that electronic music producers have to the world of acoustics. And on that score, it’s pretty cool. We asked Daniel some questions about himself and his interest in technology.
Together: First of all, you’re something of an inventor — can you describe what you’re working on now?
DT: For the last year or so I’ve been working on a device to innovate the way people quit smoking. It hasn’t officially been launched but let’s just say it will integrate a lot of the cool behavioral and social technologies that have come out in the last few years. Think of it as quitting smoking 2.0.
Before this project, I dedicated a large portion of my time to building musical robots! It might seem kind of random but it was the best way I could think of in connecting my degree in mechanical engineering to music.
Together: How does living in the Boston area influence your work? Is the community here supportive?
Boston is an incredible place to work. It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I really started taking advantage of all the incredible professional and creative communities that Boston has to offer. Some that come to mind are the various groups at the Cambridge Innovation Center, Artisan’s Asylum, Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club and IDEA Venture Accelerator, just to name a few.
The resources and support of these groups makes a huge difference to any potential innovator or entrepreneur.
Together: What do you think the relationship between music and technology is and how do you see it changing?
I see music and technology converging more and more. In fact, I think that even today not having a little background in both can significantly stunt your creative potential.
Some of the most inspiring developments I think are going to come in the form of wearable technology as well as new ways to interactively sequence music. There are already a few examples out there like the Hot Hand MIDI controller () or the Reactable table top instrument.
Together: What attracts you to Together particularly?
The idea that a diverse set of people, in a music scene that isn’t particularly well defined anymore, to join forces! And of course an incredible line-up of artists and events.
As always, passes are going fast. Get them before they sell out!