Inspirefest to host world-first AI performance from beatboxer Reeps One and Bell Labs

14 Mar 2018

Image: Reeps One

The unique mix of sci-tech and arts at Inspirefest 2018 will include an unmissable, world-class interdisciplinary AI experiment live on stage.

Renowned beatboxer Reeps One will grace Dublin’s Inspirefest stage in June for a world first. The London-born musician and artist will team up with Nokia Bell Labs to perform a special duet with his digital beatboxing AI twin.

In 2017, the Experiments in Arts and Technology (EAT) group from Nokia Bell Labs presented a very special STEAM performance at Inspirefest featuring Other Voices founder Philip King, wowing the audience. This year, EAT’s Domhnaill Hernon returns to Inspirefest, and he is bringing Reeps One with him.

We can’t tell you much more, as the Inspirefest team always likes to surprise its attendees, but this is a definite ‘don’t miss’ at the summer event.

Reeps One has been obsessively experimenting with innovative vocal practices alongside the creative representation of physics and sound since the age of 18. His unique skills have seen him uncover new keys to cognitive efficiency and expand his phonetic vocabulary to new boundaries. His specialisation in oral percussion and performance has generated a global online following, gathering more than 50m views and establishing his reputation as a key pioneer in the field of experimental vocalism.

A proponent of ‘musical intelligence’, Reeps One has exhibited work across multidisciplinary events such as Miami Art Basel, and the London, Milan and Tokyo design weeks. A polyglot of audio and visual communication, he has redefined the role of phonetics as a cross-disciplinary means to connect the artistic, musical and scientific communities.

Capturing the attention of the academic realm, he became the subject of a study of expert behaviour led by Prof Sophie Scott of University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience – the first neurological investigation of its kind to utilise the voice as a medium. He has continued to marry his involvement in academia with his own music and performance, harnessing cymatics to translate the organisational powers of sound in real time and, for the first time, reconstitute the medium as a visual instrument for the deaf.

‘At Inspirefest 2018, we plan on creating a world’s-first duet between a musical phenomenon (Reeps One) and his digital beatboxing AI twin’

Hernon is head of EAT at Nokia Bell Labs (and a damn fine fiddle player), having graduated with a BEng in aeronautical engineering and a PhD in fundamental fluid mechanics from the University of Limerick. He is passionate about turning research and ideas into reality and exploring the bounds of creativity to push the limits of technology.

He was previously responsible for turning Bell Labs’ disruptive research assets into proto-solutions that could be tested at scale in the market and he pioneered new methods to overcome the ‘innovation valley of death’. Today, he is responsible for Bell Labs’ global activities in EAT, where he collaborates with the artistic and creative community to push the limits of technology and solve the greatest human-need problems.

“At Inspirefest 2018, we plan on creating a world’s-first duet between a musical phenomenon (Reeps One) and his digital beatboxing AI twin,” said Hernon. “This work represents a continuation of our Experiments in Arts and Technology programme, where we fuse art and technology to solve the greatest human-need challenges of our time.”

Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea said: “Sitting down with Domhnaill in New Jersey in January, we hatched a plan to bring this AI collaboration to Dublin. Now, it is happening in June, and we couldn’t be more excited to offer our attendees this world first.

“Reeps One is, frankly, a genius, and Bell Labs have such a splendid heritage in working with artists, it just fits perfectly with our ambition to present world-class interdisciplinary experiments at Inspirefest. I think our diverse and eclectic community is going to love this.”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Get your Early Bird tickets now to join us in Dublin on 21 and 22 June 2018.