Please enjoy the archives from The UCLA Center for Music Innovation (CMI), which was open from 2014 to 2019 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

The Center explored how technology is changing how we create, consume, and collaborate around music — locally and globally. CMI faced outward and inward, creating programs and conversations between musicians, tech companies, labels, distributors, startups, and other music community members, as well as connecting these conversations with our own students and faculty.

Our projects around tech and music included:

  • The Future of Music in Los Angeles. a 2019 series of events and research with partners including the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Dept., part of our Research Focus.  Events included a Symposium with LA DCA in February at the Bootleg, a full-day conference on Amplifying Music in LA in May at UCLA, and an evening symposium in September 2019 with the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Pubic Library.
  • Innovating Music, our half-hour podcast series found across all major podcasting services for 4 years.
  • Industry conference sessions on current music technology trends
  • The Lab, our next-generation action research and marketing lab with UCLA Alpert undergraduate researchers, with projects to date on festivals and permitting, the changing nature of live venues, LGBTQ challenges as event promoters, and a metastudy on music city research and policies.
  • Our eNewsletter, which hightlights our events, research, conferences, and partners.

CMI was supported in ideas and connections by our Industry Advisory Council, which helped keep us at the cutting edge and connected with industry thought leaders. The Center also was supported by our Faculty Advisory Committee, including our three UCLA Alpert departments plus innovators from Theater Film and Television, UCLA Anderson, and Design Media Arts.

Enjoy our podcast episodes
Enjoy our podcast episodes
Enjoy our podcast episodes
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Innovating Music Podcast Episodes

More Podcast Episodes
More Podcast Episodes
More Podcast Episodes
Innovation is Messy...with Jack Conte, Patreon | Innovating Music Podcast
Jack Conte shares how he balances creating music (Pomplamoose and the funk band Scary Pockets) with running a large tech business (crowdfunding and community with Patreon.)
Livestreaming and Live Connecting with Dmitri Vietze | Innovating Music Podcast
A year ago, Dmitri Vietze of Music Tectonics shares his thoughts on crisis-driven shifts to music livestreaming.
Everything Old is New Again...with Ted Cohen | Innovating Music Podcast
Ted Cohen shares tales of doing things for the right reasons and the genuineness of artists vs. overproduction in live streaming and concerts.

Innovating Music

Get all our past episodes on your favorite digital device by subscribing on one of these great services: Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google PlayYouTube and at this link.

Technology is continuing to expand and transform music and our human systems around it.  The Innovating Music podcast, launched in 2017, launched to look at Innovation in Music from all sorts of angles and beliefs.  It grew to looking at possible Futures in Music, both locally and globally. Some episodes were funny, some were deep in tech talk, and others were inspirational. Our Executive Director, Dr. Gigi Johnson, talked with start-ups, long-time industry leaders, new technology creators, artists, and others. Each episode shared how new technologies are transforming how we create, collaborate, and create communities around music in a connected age — in our home towns and in communities across the globe, plus in systems that connect these futures together.

Episodes included digital fireside chats with innovative guests on topics ranging from virtual reality, blockchain, and streaming to finding love, intractable problems, trust and relationships, and unanswered questions in innovation.


Why Music Innovation?

Tech transforms how we live, create, and work with music.  At the UCLA Center for Music Innovation, we explored how technology changes music’s social connections and systems — which changes us and our relationships around music.

This Center focused not just on the “what” and “how” of Innovation around music, but also the “why?”, “why now?”, and “with what impact on which parties, separately and together?” from this system-wide disruption and rebuilding.

  • Why are creative and social changes happening?
  • How are these complex systems building and rebuilding?
  • How do our diverse belief sets and hopes affect changes we embrace in music?
  • How do we create together and separately based on these shifts?
  • How can we understand how others are re-crafting the business and community around us? Are we taking active or passive roles?  Can we take more active roles?
  • How do these changes affect us as people? How and where we work?  Our assumptions on creative tools?  Our assumptions about how we consume and are changed by music?  Our assumptions on how to study and teach it?
  • How can we re-understand local music and global systems?
  • How are shifts affecting music rippling through other sectors, changing how we experience—and expect to experience and create—culture and content? How might music be a Bellwether to other sectors?
  • How is the power shifting around music? What changes can we make NOW that will change music in 5, 10, even 25 years?
Music 2030 at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal
Dr. Gigi Johnson, Executive Director at UCLA Alpert’s Center for Music Innovation, joined a panel on possible futures of music at Web Summit’s MusicNotes sessions November 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.  This panel on Music 2030 was moderated by The Guardian’s Eamonn Forde from The Guardian/Music Ally and also included Roland Lamb from ROLI and Pieter
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Announces Fall 2019 Season
Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chris Potter, and jazz vocalist Fay Victor, are just two of the artists who will be part of the music school’s Fall 2019 season.
LA Times – Professor Gigi Johnson on the Difficulties of Winning a GRAMMY in an Age of Social Media and Streaming
READ: “With the scattering of content, the battle for awareness has gotten so rugged. How do you make human connections and take advantage of big things? The Grammys are one of the big things,” says Gigi Johnson, director of the UCLA Center for Music Innovation.