The Café Scientifique is an international initiative to host presentations by scientists from different domains in an informal environment. Amsterdam’s Café Scientifique is organized by students of the University of Amsterdam. For their evening on “Computer Music”, they invited me to speak on computational analysis of music. I explained probabilistic models such as Markov chains, which have played an important role both in automatic composition and in analysis of music. Finally, I showed how I apply these models for my research on the Dutch Song Database.
Among the other guests were Tijs Ham from the Utrecht Conservatory, who performed some music with Live Coding; Jos Zwaanenburg en Stephan Raidl from the Amsterdam Conservatory, who presented interactions between acoustic and electronic instruments; and Alex van Venrooij from the Department for Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, who spoke about the spread of electronic music in Europe and the United States.
It was a varied evening with a round of questions in the end for all presenters and performers, and it was a great experience to speak to such a mixed audience.