UMD Breaks Boundaries: Research Paper Accepted by NIME Conference

We're thrilled to announce that Universal Music Design's groundbreaking research paper, "GestoLumina: Gesture Interpreted Light, Sound, and Haptics. Towards a Framework for Universal Music Design," has been accepted by the prestigious New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference!

This achievement marks a significant milestone for UMD, considering our relatively small size in comparison to other participants. NIME is renowned for showcasing cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of musical interface design, making our acceptance a testament to the quality and impact of our work.

NIME brings together researchers and musicians from across the globe to exchange ideas and share their latest discoveries in new musical interface design. Originating as a workshop at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in 2001, NIME has since evolved into an annual series of international conferences hosted by leading research groups dedicated to interface design, human-computer interaction, and computer music.

Our paper's acceptance underscores UMD's commitment to pushing the boundaries of accessibility and innovation in music technology. We're proud to be contributing to the global conversation on new interfaces for musical expression, and we look forward to sharing our insights and discoveries with the broader research community at NIME.

Bridging Innovation: UMD Collaborates with Creative Coding and Immersive Technologies Capstone Course

The UMD team is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking collaboration with the Creative Coding and Immersive Technologies capstone course at Portland Community College. Spearheaded by Professor Jesse Mejía, this partnership promises to push the boundaries of creativity and technology, offering students a unique opportunity to bring their projects to life with guidance from industry experts.

Set against the backdrop of Portland Community College's art gallery, the upcoming art installation promises to captivate audiences with its innovative approach to immersive experiences. At its center stands a towering tree, crafted from thick cables and technological scraps, adorned with CRT TVs displaying live streams of animals from around the world. This mesmerizing display embodies the intersection of art, technology, and nature, inviting viewers to explore and engage with the wonders of the natural world in a dynamic and interactive setting.

Guiding the students on their journey is Dillon, whose expertise in embedded hardware and years of experience in the field serve as a valuable resource for the aspiring creators. His insights and advice have been instrumental in shaping the vision for the project, providing students with invaluable guidance as they navigate the complexities of their capstone course. Professor Mejía notes that Dillon's past projects serve as a constant source of inspiration for the students, fueling their enthusiasm and drive to push the boundaries of creativity.

As the collaboration between UMD and the Creative Coding and Immersive Technologies capstone course unfolds, anticipation builds for the unveiling of the art installation. Together, they are breaking new ground in the realm of immersive experiences, fostering innovation and creativity among the next generation of technologists and artists. With each step forward, they are reshaping the landscape of interactive art and technology, creating a legacy that will inspire and captivate audiences for years to come.

Empowering Futures: Uplifting Experiences at the Career Carnival Expo

Dillon and Nate, the dynamic duo from Universal Music Design (UMD), recently made waves at the Career Carnival Expo hosted at the Oregon State School for the Deaf. With a shared passion for innovation and empowerment, they set up a booth that left a lasting impression on students ranging from elementary to high school.

The Career Carnival Expo aimed to expose students to successful deaf figures and diverse career opportunities, igniting their curiosity and ambition for the future. Dillon and Nate's booth stood out as a beacon of creativity and technology amidst the array of exhibits. Featuring reactive lights and an engaging high-tech game called BeatMonsters, their booth captivated the imagination of all who visited.

BeatMonsters, crafted by Dillon himself, showcased his journey from college to his current role as a lead design engineer. Students were awestruck by the intricacies of the game and inspired by Dillon's ability to overcome challenges through technology. As they navigated through levels filled with monsters and hazards, they discovered the power of perseverance and innovation.

Meanwhile, Nate showcased the revolutionary Woojer Vest3s, offering attendees a glimpse into the world of spatial haptics for the first time. With minds blown and senses heightened, students and visitors experienced music in a whole new dimension, thanks to Nate's dedication to accessibility and inclusivity.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the expo, Dillon and Nate's interactions with students echoed the spirit of empowerment and possibility. Through their stories and demonstrations, they instilled a sense of confidence and aspiration in the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Universal Music Design Unboxes Cutting-Edge Tech for Revolutionary Music Experience

Universal Music Design (UMD) recently had an exciting unboxing day where they unveiled a plethora of innovative technologies aimed at revolutionizing the music experience. Among the highlights were the Woojer Vest3 Haptics, RF transmitter and receivers, Woojer Edge Haptics, Electrospit, and 16x mixer Behringer.

One of the most awe-inspiring discoveries of the day was the power and longevity of the Woojer Vest3. Its immersive haptic feedback capabilities left the UMD team amazed, coupled with its impressive battery lifespan. The team immediately saw the potential for integrating this technology into their projects to provide an unparalleled music experience for both deaf and hearing individuals.

The 16x mixer Behringer also caught the team's attention, as they realized its potential for enhancing haptic experiences in a manner similar to traditional audio mixing in recording studios. By leveraging these mixers, UMD aims to elevate haptic music production to new heights, offering users a dynamic and immersive musical journey.

Shawn Trail, PhD, expressed his excitement about the novel experience of feeling music in the same way it's heard. With the integration of cutting-edge haptic technologies, Shawn noted that his ears are getting a well-deserved break, while still enjoying the full richness of the musical experience.

Myles de Bastion, Director of CymaSpace and a nearly blind and deaf individual, also shared his enthusiasm for the new technologies. In a video embedded in the playlist above, Myles can be seen experimenting with haptic guitar solos on the Woojer Vest3, showcasing the transformative potential of these advancements in music technology.

With the unboxing of these groundbreaking technologies, Universal Music Design is poised to continue pushing the boundaries of music accessibility and innovation, ushering in a new era of inclusive and immersive musical experiences for all.

UMD Workshop at Portland Community College: Igniting Creativity in Music and Sonic Arts

Universal Music Design (UMD) recently conducted an engaging workshop at Portland Community College for the Music and Sonic Arts program. This program caters to musicians, artists, and designers passionate about exploring contemporary and future-facing tools, methods, and mindsets for sonic composition, performance, production, and design.

UMD's workshop added a unique dimension to the Music and Sonic Arts program by introducing innovative technologies and methodologies aimed at enhancing accessibility and inclusivity in music. Participants had the opportunity to learn about our groundbreaking GestoLumina framework and its applications in expanding the boundaries of sonic expression for diverse communities.

The Music and Sonic Arts program at Portland Community College is renowned for its supportive environment and commitment to pushing the boundaries of music and sound through contemporary and emerging technologies. UMD's workshop aligned perfectly with the program's values, emphasizing the importance of embracing diversity and envisioning the transformative power of music, sound, and technology in driving positive social change.

We're grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Portland Community College's Music and Sonic Arts program and look forward to continuing our shared journey of exploration and innovation in music and sonic arts.

DJwish Brings Vibrant Music Experience to Deaf2Deaf Experience Event

Nate, also known as DJwish, recently embarked on a memorable journey to Tacoma, Washington, to participate in the Deaf2Deaf Experience JA BizTown event. As a passionate advocate for accessibility and inclusion in music, Nate seized the opportunity to showcase his talents as a Deaf DJ and connect with students from across Oregon and Washington.

The Deaf2Deaf Experience event, organized by Junior Achievement, aims to empower young individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind by providing them with essential skills in work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Partnering with organizations like the Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Washington Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Youth, the event creates a dynamic platform for students to explore and navigate the opportunities and challenges of the 21st-century workforce.

Amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the event, Nate brought his unique blend of music and energy to the students, serving as DJwish. His presence not only entertained but also inspired, showcasing the possibilities of pursuing a career in music regardless of hearing abilities. Through his performances, Nate fostered a sense of unity and empowerment among the students, encouraging them to embrace their passions and aspirations.

One of the highlights of the event was Nate's opportunity to connect with influential leaders within the Deaf community from both Oregon and Washington. These interactions laid the groundwork for future collaborations and initiatives under the umbrella of Universal Music Design (UMD). As UMD strives to break down barriers in music accessibility and promote inclusivity, Nate's presence at the Deaf2Deaf Experience event symbolized a commitment to building bridges and fostering a supportive community for Deaf individuals in the realm of music.

Nate's participation in the Deaf2Deaf Experience JA BizTown event served as a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries and unite communities. Through his passion, talent, and advocacy, Nate continues to make meaningful contributions to the advancement of accessibility and inclusion in the world of music, leaving a lasting impact on all who have the pleasure of experiencing his artistry.

UMD Workshop at Central State of Mind: Empowering Through Technology and Storytelling

Universal Music Design (UMD) had the privilege of hosting a workshop at the Central State of Mind: A Catholic Social Justice and Human Dignity Conference. This transformative two-day event, now in its fifth year, focuses on cultural humility, social awareness, and human dignity. With the theme "The Power of Storytelling: Grounding In The Experiences that Connect Us," the conference provided a platform for the Central Catholic community to engage, dialogue, and reflect on important issues.

UMD's workshop delved into the intersection of technology, accessibility, and storytelling. We showcased our innovative GestoLumina framework, designed to enhance accessibility in music and culture for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community. Additionally, we explored the broader impact of technology on fostering inclusivity and empowerment.

Both workshops were recorded and are now available on our YouTube channel, ensuring that the insights and discussions shared at the event can continue to reach and inspire others beyond the conference walls. We're grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such an impactful event and look forward to future collaborations in promoting social justice and human dignity through technology and storytelling.

Harmony in Collaboration: UMD Joins CymaSpace for Winter Light Festival

Universal Music Design is thrilled to announce a harmonious collaboration with CymaSpace for the upcoming Winter Light Festival. Join us as we bring the magic of music and light to life in the immersive setting of CymaSpace's new deaf-friendly coffee cafe.

This exciting venture combines UMD's expertise in innovative music accessibility with CymaSpace's dedication to creating inclusive environments. Together, we aim to transform the Winter Light Festival into a sensory-rich experience for all attendees, transcending auditory boundaries and fostering a sense of community through the universal language of music.

Central State of Mind Conference: Music Workshop at Central Catholic High School with UMD

Exciting news! Universal Music Design (UMD) is bringing a special workshop to Central Catholic High School on February 15, as part of the Central State of Mind Conference: Music Workshop. Led by UMD's Program Director, Nate Hergert, students will have the opportunity to explore the innovative fusion of music, technology, and accessibility right at their school. Get ready for a unique sonic journey at Central Catholic High School!

Exciting News: UMD Presents at NIME 2024

We're thrilled to announce that Universal Music Design (UMD) will be presenting a paper at the prestigious New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) 2024 conference. NIME is an international platform dedicated to exploring new musical interfaces, their artistic applications, and the underlying technologies driving their development. Researchers from across the globe gather to share their latest findings and innovations in the field. This year, UMD will be showcasing our groundbreaking work on GestoLumina, a revolutionary framework designed to enhance accessibility in music and culture for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community. Stay tuned for updates on our presentation at NIME 2024!

Collbaration between Universal Music Design and Not Impossible

Breaking Barriers in Music Accessibility! Universal Music Design (UMD) is excited to unveil an unprecedented partnership with Not Impossible, a frontrunner in Vibrotextile™ wearable technology. Drawing inspiration from the deaf community, Not Impossible's cutting-edge technology transforms sound into tactile sensations, offering users an unparalleled and intricate music encounter.

Not Impossible was captivated by UMD's pioneering work and expressed interest in partnering for a special show. What makes this collaboration even more impactful is that UMD's members are deaf/hard of hearing and use sign language, aligning perfectly with Not Impossible's targeted audience for their technology.

In a gesture of support and collaboration, Not Impossible will be providing Universal Music Design (UMD) members participating in the show with loaner Not Impossible haptic gears. This generous contribution will enhance the immersive experience for performers, enabling them to further connect with the music through tactile feedback. Get ready for an unforgettable showcase of innovation and inclusivity!

CymaSpace brings music to deaf and hard-of-hearing communities

Through haptics technology and a recent grant, the Portland nonprofit expands its mission to make music more accessible

OCF Invests $1 Million in Visionary Oregon Arts and Culture Projects

Fourteen Grantees Building Community by Elevating Underrepresented Voices and Increasing Access to Arts Experiences Across Oregon

Exciting Beginnings: Confluence and UMD Unveil a New Sonic Era

We are thrilled to announce the inception of Confluence Recording Company alongside the groundbreaking Universal Music Design (UMD). This dynamic duo marks the beginning of a new chapter in the realm of music accessibility, innovation, and inclusivity.

Confluence Recording Company, founded by partners Nate Hergert and Shawn Trail, PhD, is not just a recording studio – it's a creative haven where state-of-the-art audio production meets visionary research and development. Nate Hergert's role as a Deaf Music Producer and Shawn Trail, PhD's expertise in percussionist artistry, music production, and computer science set the stage for a unique convergence of talents.

Paired with Confluence's launch, UMD, under Nate Hergert's leadership, is set to redefine how we experience dance and music. The collaboration extends beyond the studio walls, aiming to make cultural events universally accessible through technology, education, and outreach.

As these ventures join forces, the possibilities for groundbreaking projects, collaborations, and inclusive events are boundless. Follow our news section for updates, insights, and glimpses into this exciting journey as Confluence and UMD set the stage for a sonic revolution. Welcome to the beginning of a new era in music exploration and accessibility!