I went to quite a few, and they were a bit hit-or-miss for me. Several that seemed from their descriptions to be in-depth classroom style tutorial/discussion sessions ended up being far less than that - like “Generative Systems for Freeform Music with MaxMSP”, which sounds like it’d be a great max coding workshop but was actually a very surface level discussion of Adam Florin’s ‘Patter’ max4live device. Or “Borderless Radio”, which had this description:
This participatory program is especially suited for novice-to-seasoned event producers, curators, and artists. The conversation addresses the idea of radio not just as a participatory medium, but as a platform for multidisciplinary events that transcend typical boundaries. The moderators present tangible examples from previous festivals, broadcasts, gatherings, and other events that enhanced site-specific elements and promoted psychogeographic practices in order to push audiences to experience beyond time and place.
Participants are encouraged to bring examples from existing events, as well as new concepts for pushing audiences to listen and to create within multidisciplinary environments.
…but was actually the two organizers of a festival called Megapolis just talking about their CV of putting together their small festival. I’m trying to put together a low-power FM event for a band I’m in and was hoping for some discussion of the logistics of making these things happen or hearing a bunch of new ideas on how one could use FM as a platform, so this was a bit of a letdown.
That said, there were plenty of surprise hits. I attended a “Soundwalk”, where Toronto-based artist Anna Friz led a small group of us on a long meditative walk through downtown focusing solely on the ambient noise of the city, and followed by a great discussion of both meditation and the nature of architecture as a tool or agent in sound design. Right after that, I sat in for a talk (also by Anna Friz) on the changing nature of radio as a tool in art (I hit a lot of the radio stuff), which was fascinating and very educational. The Tim Hecker / Ben Frost masterclass was really great and, despite being led by an insufferable moderator, ended up leading to a very interesting discussion of their approaches (esp. their championing of digital audio, all the more interesting at a festival run by an analog-centric company). And Laurie Anderson is/was/will always be amazing. I could listen to her ramble on for hours.
@bradfromraleigh thanks dude!