Last Wednesday, December 13th, Barcelona Music Tech Hub had the opportunity to organize two round tables focused on musictech at Tech Spirit Barcelona 2023. This was possible due to the collaboration agreement established at the beginning of 2023 between Barcelona Music Tech Hub and Tech Barcelona.
These sessions, which showcased the progress of an emerging sector in the innovation ecosystem, revolved around two main themes. On the one hand, future expectations for the creation of sound and music using new technologies were discussed. On the other, participants examined the impact of music on personal wellbeing.
During the first session, “The Future of Sound and Music: Exploring Leading Music Technologies and Experiencies”, participants discussed topics including the emergence of AI and VR in the music industry, the growth of Web3 applications solving sectorial problems and the future of the musictech ecosystem, in a round table moderated by Antònia Folguera, Curator at Sónar+D.
In the words of prominent international speakers, Lissette Lemus, co-founder of Artificia and Technology Transfer Manager of the IIIA-CSIC, “AI is revolutionizing music, transforming music creation, distribution and experience. It is deeply impacting the way we make and enjoy music”. Musictech consultant Aga Samitowska added that “the technology is not the challenge, but the human use of it. Emerging technologies can revolutionize the artistic and creative scene, opening up new business opportunities and enriching the public experience with innovative experiences”. While Michel Allain, Copyright IT Manager at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), reflected “it is vital that the evolution of the music industry focuses on using new technologies to empower creators, ensuring they have full control of their creations and giving priority to their rights”.
The second session, “Sonic Evolution: Music’s Impact on Well-being” was moderated by Natalia San Juan, Marketing Coordinator at SAE Barcelona, partner and founder of the Femnøise platform, who offered attendees an enriching discussion on the transformative innovation in music and its functional impact in areas such as health or personal well-being, going beyond the traditional application of entertainment.
The Secretary of Public Health of the Catalan Government, Dr. Carmen Cabezas, stated that “research in innovative fields aimed at developing alternative therapies, such as the use of music and art to relieve pain and treat diseases, is key to modern medicine and innovation, offering a healthy alternative to drugs”, while the Academic Director of the Music Therapy Master at ESMUC, Dr. Melissa Mercadal, added that “research in music and wellbeing demonstrates that art and wellbeing are connected. Our aim is to replicate these studies locally”. Finally, Ivan Ferrigno, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of the startup Moonai, reflected on how “society, especially young people, has become more open-minded, but there are still many discoveries to be made. Doctors recognize the link between music and wellbeing, yet the biggest challenge is the skepticism of those who believe to know it all”.
Both panel discussions proved to be a great success, combining the expertise of the distinguished panelists and the relevance of the topics covered in the sessions, attracted an exceptional group of attendees. In this context, Jose Luis Zagazeta, president of the Barcelona Music Tech Hub, assessed the day very positively, highlighting that events like Tech Spirit play an essential role in realizing the Hub’s goal of highlighting the immense value of the musictech sector.
With the collaboration of the Hub’s members Sónar, Moonai, Artificia and Tech Barcelona, the music industry and, especially, the musictech sector was present more than ever at this year’s Tech Spirit, demonstrating the rise and strength of this emerging sector.