"What is our shared purpose and motivation for being here?" Our guest editor for June discusses community-building, innovation in music technology and more in this week's Exchange.
Cherie Hu thinks about music differently. Trained in classical piano at The Juilliard School in New York, she went on to study math at Harvard while simultaneously launching a freelance journalism career. It was towards the end of her time in university that her parallel interests in music, writing and statistics coalesced in one long-term mission: to bridge the innovations happening in music creation and technology.
First a newsletter and now an international membership-based platform, Water & Music was her answer to this unique topical intersection. "Water & Music's goal is to connect like-minded readers and develop a bottom-up culture of curiosity and critique around where music and tech are headed," she wrote earlier this month on RA. "Through media, my own personal goal is not only to document and analyse music-tech innovation as it happens, but also to foster a culture of proactive experimentation. I want to help artists and their teams use the tools at their disposal to expand the boundaries of possibility in both music and culture at large, and kickstart a longer-term dialogue around how music creators and professionals can incorporate tech into their careers in an ethical manner."
Over the last few weeks, Hu has curated thoughtful and practical articles for RA that touch on the ethics and implications of AI, the metaverse and fandom, as well as more far-reaching topics that she explores in depth on the Water & Music website and Discord. In them, she urges everyone in creative ecosystems to think more critically about why trends happen, how we can cultivate sustainable artistic communities and the ways in which we can create more agency and collective ownership over how music is released and consumed. Listen to the episode in full.