Digital Economy USRG

#SXSC3 Speaker profile: Ben Mawson

Avatar photoNovember 18, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke


In his own words:

Benjamin Louis Mawson, Composer and Virtual Performance Developer‏. Working to make music composed in the digital studio come alive through motion-tracked real-time interactivity, using 3DBARE.

Ben’s most recent work has included sound effects for a London stage production of Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog” (simulating Moscow 1920s streets and domestic interiors) and the Cotswold Motoring Museum (vintage motor racing audio in surround sound in the new exhibition space).

He has composed extensively for chamber ensemble in addition to more recent acousmatic commissions including “ROOM” (2011), in the conceptual art show “Parallax” at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton and “Dreaming at the Circular Ruins” (2012), South Bank Centre, London.

Recent compositional work and his PhD thesis are about how composition in the digital studio can be made to simulate acoustic music impossible for human hands: doing things that seem to be happening but aren’t, creating music you can walk inside and investigate like a physical structure, augmenting the auditory reality of a place.

He is currently working on a commission from New Dimensions (funded by Hampshire County Council) to build a community-based immersive audio portrait of Gosport, South East Hampshire, interpreting, depicting, augmenting the acoustic history and present of this pivotal historic port town.

It uses noTours software to create a geo-located multi-layered musical composition that draws on the contributions of hundreds of speaking, singing and playing residents and visitors to the town and is connected by a complex web of structurally linked fragments of virtual sonic reality. The composition will cover several hundred acres of the town, accessible via noTours software for Android.

Recent guest presentations on immersive audio have included Cap Gemini and Google, schools in Southampton and the Landscape Institute.

Ben is working on ways to present music created in the digital studio so the experience is continually changeable, impossible to hear the same way twice. These include multi-room speaker installations, GPS-based tracking with noTours software and wireless head-tracking (3DBARE) for listeners in an interior space – Music You Can Walk Inside.

He has a monthly show on internet radio station (Broadcast Art, Sound & Independent Culture) and posts regular articles here

In this event for SXSC3, Ben Mawson will be presenting noTours and 3DBARE, two distinct tools for listeners to walk inside an audio landscape. 3DBARE (under development) is a revolutionary approach to the creation of ‘digital liveness’, making repeated experience of fixed output continually changeable:
Music You Can Walk Inside.

noTours software, by Spanish sound collective is a means to annotate landscapes with audio via a GPS-enabled Android phone handset.

Ben will deliver a Master Class on Annotating Landscape with Sound, using GPS-based tool noTours at the Avenue campus 65 / 2149 10-4 on December 6:

“Annotating landscape with sound: an introduction to building geo-located audio sculpture.” A practical session on building geo-located sound structures in the landscape. Learn how to use the (free) editor software, build soundmaps, publish your work and share it with listeners. “Let the Place Speak to You”

#SXSC3 Speaker Profile: Sally Jane Norman

Avatar photoNovember 18, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

One of the speakers who highlights the scientific side of value during the Creative Digifest 2013 is Professor Sally Jane Norman. She will be giving a lecture on the link between digitisation and critical arts. What role have artists played in the forging and questioning of values? And, what role do they play in the upholding of the creative criticality on which productive social awareness depends? These and other questions will be answered with the help of examples of practical examples of art using digital technologies.


Sally Jane Norman is Professor of Performance Technologies, founder and director of the Attenborough Centre of the Creative Arts at the University of Sussex, founder of the interdisciplinary Culture Lab at the University of Newcastle in 2006, Honorary Professor with the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, Visiting Fellow in the University of Porto’s M4M – Music for Media – network, and co-founder and regular jury member for the Vida Art and Artificial Life Competition launched in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica in Madrid.

As the holder of a doctorat d’état (Paris III Theatre Institute, Sorbonne Nouvelle), her research is primarily in the field of live art, performance architectures and technologies, where she combines fields that at first glance seem unrelated: robotics, motion capture and art. Together with Bennett Hogg she recently was the co-editor of a Contemporary Music Review issue on “Resistant Materials” (2013).

If you would like to know more about Professor Sally Jane Norman, then check her personal and professional websites, or come to the Creative Digifest at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton.

SXSC3 Speaker Profile: Alan Patrick

Avatar photoNovember 17, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

alan p

Alan Patrick is the co-founder of Broadsight, a group of people who work in the area of Media 2.0, meaning that they focus on market intelligence, strategy and systems development across the whole multi-media ecosystem. Broadsight has consulted to many of the major digital-media players in Europe and has helped start or turn around a number of startups. They have also developed innovative technology for a number of clients. Alan also writes the well regarded Broadstuff blog on technology development. He has also developed the ‘Broadstuff Bubble-o-Meter’ tracking the current Social Media bubble’s evolution, which has been picked up by other technology blogs and the Guardian.

He has a broad range of specialities, ranging from IT to Management, from Consulting to Simulation. During the #SXSC3 Alan will be talking about the issues that arise when starting-up a business such as business models and planning, partner networks and risk management. If you want to know more about Alan, be sure to check out his Twitter and be sure to come along to the Creative Digifest 2013!

“What do you think is the biggest challenge in setting up an online business?”
Differentiation – aka making it out of the Darwinian start-up morass.

“What is your #1 tip for digital start-ups?”
Most overnight successes have been around a long time!

#SXSC3 Speaker profile: Paul Walland

Avatar photoNovember 16, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Michel Hanna

During the Creative Digifest #SXSC3 several workshops will be given by experts in the field. One of those is Paul Walland, who will be discussing new digital technologies and business model development. Issues related to the challenges of running media-based collaborative projects will be covered. The challenge is how to create and maintain collaborative relationships value around new technology in a fast-moving highly interconnected environment dominated by competing and evolving standards.

paul walland

Paul has over 25 years experience in the leadership of research teams, ranging from pure and applied research to product development and innovation management in a wide range of UK based commercial organisations and academia. He joined the senior management team of the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre in 2006, where he acts as principal investigator on a number of EC and UK funded research projects in addition to his role in developing new projects and innovations in the digital media arena. Prior to this, Paul was Projects Group Manager responsible for collaborative project research at Snell & Wilcox Ltd, UK, where he initiated and led a wide range of UK and European research projects in the field of digital video and multimedia. Paul also was a founding Director of the multi-media Virtual Centre of Excellence, steering board member and vice-president of the European Digital Television Action Group (DigiTAG), and active contributor to both DTG and DVB. He has chaired workshops, conferences and working groups as well as publishing widely at international conferences and in technical journals. So, he has plenty of knowledge and expertise to share in what is sure to be a very interesting workshop.

Random Hacks of Kindness #RHoKSoton

Avatar photoNovember 14, 2013
by Lisa Harris

For the 4th time Random Hacks of Kindness is again coming to Southampton on 7-8 December!

This event brings together developers, makers, and technology enthusiasts with people & organisations working in (international) development, education, and the social sector.

Join us and apply your problem solving and technology skills for the greater good!

Eventbrite signup here

A review of last year’s event by Digital Champion Faranoosh Beherman

Twitter hash: #RHoKSoton

#SXSC3: Not just about business!

Avatar photoNovember 14, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

A few free tickets are still available for the Creative Digifest on November 19th 2013.

The Creative Digifest 2013 has many different sides: as well as the practical/business field, the scientific field will certainly not be forgotten! Professor Sally Jane Norman (Director of the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Sussex) will take the value of digital technologies to another level, asking what this value actually is and how this mixes with social awareness. Taking artists and art as an example, she will be sure to give us many interesting views on this field which seems to be in a constant state of flux.

In addition, PHD student Ben Mawson will bring the digital to life, allowing us to walk inside a piece of music with the 3DBare. Music, seemingly coming from every part of the room, will give us a one of a kind interpretation of a music piece, which can change with every step you take.

A day full of subjects for everyone, so be sure that you don’t miss out!


#SXSC3 Speaker Profile: Alan Rae

Avatar photoNovember 13, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

During the Creative Digifest #SXSC3, several experts will be giving talks and workshops surrounding the theme “value of digital start-ups”. One of these experts is Alan Rae, who will be giving a workshop in the second part of the day about building a business from scratch: How do you make your offer attractive? How do you get the site found? How do you make transactions and how do you fulfill?

The workshop is based on nearly 10 years’ involvement with Digital Business in the family horticultural business which successfully turns over nearly £3/4 million annually in plants, garden equipment and organic pest control. The session will give you some real insight into what is practicable for an independent operator to achieve.

alan rae

But who is Alan Rae? In his own words:

“Research – Structure – Present – Set to Music”

I guess I have been a digital pioneer since we set up our first IT company in 1981. I’ve lived through the change from an analogue to a digital world (when I went to University we used mechanical calculators in the labs!) through word processing, computer aided design, e-commerce and social media and mobile working. My career started as a market researcher and marketing manager for a heavy engineering company. I set up my first IT business in 1981 and have been helping businesses large and small implement IT related change ever since as a supplier, trainer, presenter and author. From 1996-2004 I ran the Executive Studio in West London which was a pioneering demonstration and training centre for the use of IT In e-commerce and mobile and flexible working. Since then I’ve been applying what we know about digital commerce to a family horticultural business (the DPhil IS in plant science after all) and to researching how small companies can use the internet in practice to make their businesses work better. Much of this work has been carried out with Lisa Harris.

I’ve created various training programmes for small business including 1 Man Brand and Punch Above Your Weight, and written books like “Growing Jobs” and “Social Media for Real Businesses”.

If you want to find out more about Alan’s work, check his Research findings at, practical help for small business at and his Sales and marketing materials at Also read his guest blogs for Brandwatch. You can also find him on twitter and LinkedIn

“What do you think is the biggest challenge in setting up an online business?”
Getting the delivery logistics right!

“What is your #1 tip for digital start-ups?”
Only sell things that people want to buy

Just one week to go to the Creative Digifest #SXSC3

Avatar photoNovember 12, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

blog 2

Last year’s Creative Digifest was a great success and we are sure that this one will be as well. In current times where crowd-funding platforms have given a new boost to starting businesses, generating online value is hotter than ever before. But once the funding is done, how do you progress? What are the valid business models and how can you get your site found? How do you maintain your teams in today’s globalised world and how do you integrate your new business with other existing ones? These and many other questions will be answered during the Creative Digifest 2013!

Just 8 days to go until the Creative Digifest #SXSC3

Avatar photoNovember 10, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

blog 1
Be sure to come along to the latest version of the Creative Digifest on November 11th 2013 at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton. This year’s event will be centered around creating value from digital technologies, in all its possible forms. Prepare for a day full of expert talks, engaging workshops/demos and the business planning competition in which big prizes can be won. Be sure to keep up-to-date through this blog and Twitter (#SXSC3) for profiles of our speakers, fun and interesting facts and more info on the competition pitches.

There are still (free) tickets available so it’s not too late to book your seat. We hope to see you there on the 11th!