Max Addae wins first place in the 2024 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition


Jimmy Day

Jimmy Day

VocalCords: Exploring Tactile Interaction with the Singing Voice, by alum Max Addae of the Opera of the Future research group, received first place at the 2024 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at the Georgia Institute of Technology. VocalCords was recently featured in Professor Tod Machover's 2023 VALIS production.

"I am so grateful for my time at the Media Lab, where VocalCords was first conceived in Joe Paradiso's 'Sensors for Interactive Environments' course, and developed further for my master's thesis. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of Tod Machover, the Opera of the Future group, Nina Masuelli (previous UROP and incoming MAS student!), my thesis committee members Joe Paradiso and Akito van Troyer (MAS '18), and the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT)," Addae said.

Professor Machover, head of the Opera of the Future research group, added, "From the very first time that Max showed me the initial concept for VocalCords, I could see that he had found a uniquely powerful and personal way to combine his singing, composing, computing, and performing skills. The mature system is so effective because it unleashes both the expressivity and the fragility of the human voice in ways that are simultaneously simple and profound. I am so proud of Max for winning first prize in the prestigious Guthman Competition, the only award in the world for visionary musical instrument design, and can’t wait to see how he continues to develop VocalCords for his own artistic purposes and also so that others—and especially young people—can experience the joy of vocal creativity and discovery.”

The Guthman Musical Instrument Competition was originally designed to identify the next generation of musical instrumentalists and to expose new technologies and novel ideas to a community of musicians who are natural experimenters. 

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