Two/Four conferences: FMA/AAWM and ICMPC/ESCOM

Short update. Just attended and presented at these conferences in the summer:

The 8th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis/Fifth International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music (AAWM 2018):

Paper: Feature analysis of repeated patterns in Dutch folk songs using Principal Component Analysis (Iris Yuping Ren, Hendrik Vincent Koops, Dimitrios Bountouridis, Anja Volk, Wouter Swierstra and Remco Veltkamp)


15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition/10th triennial conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music:

Paper: Investigating Musical Pattern Ambiguity in a Human Annotated Dataset (Iris Yuping Ren, Oriol Nieto, Hendrik Vincent Koops, Anja Volk, Wouter Swierstra)


I had a very good experience with all four conferences. This is my third time to FMA, but the rest are all new to me. There were a variety of audience, talks and posters. It’s amazing how people from different fields come together and talk about a diverse range of topics related to music.

What is the most valuable is the intellectual stimulation from seeing new research results, discussing how we have been doing research (on different and similar topics), connecting with a larger community, reflecting and planning on my own research, etc.

A big thank you to all the old friends and new friends, it was very nice seeing you there. Next time is ISMIR in September. See you in Paris 🙂

ISMIR 2017 (ICMC, HAMR, CSMT, DLfM) @ Suzhou and Shanghai

It’s been 1.5 month since the big conference trip of this year.

Second time at ISMIR to present this paper:

In Search Of The Consensus Among Musical Pattern Discovery Algorithms
Ren, Iris Yuping; Koops, Vincent; Volk, Anja; Swierstra, Wouter
(2017) Proceedings of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval

The main idea is that, music pattern discovery algorithms are not perfect yet, how should we try to combine output from algorithms…We tried some simple methods but the implications are interesting. Feel free to ask me anything if you have questions 😀

At the ISMIR conference, glad to see many people working in the similar field again, old faces and new faces. There were lots of stimulating discussions, new ideas, new progresses and possible collaborations, which induce lots of thinking and experimenting.  At least 4 coffee shots per day, there were lots of mind activities.

There were even more fun in the socials and our self-organised jamming sessions. Surrounded by a healthy and energised community, it was definitely a rewarding event to attend. And now I was elected to be the student member on the ISMIR board, time to contribute something back to the community! (In addition to the MIREX task of course!)


Hope the fact that ISMIR was host at a Singaporian institute in China could boost this kind of research in China! Looking forward to the next year in Paris and Delft in 2020!

More about the events:

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Haskell Symposium and FARM workshop

After the excitement and tiredness from ICFP, I didn’t know it could get better!

Lots of people from ICFP stayed for the rest of the days and new people joined in. The colocation with other workshops and symposiums made it different in comparison to ICFP: a lot more intensive with scheduling the sessions and balancing … (not everything’s filmed…)

The programmes:

I heard I was lucky that there were two talks in the Haskell Symposium are about music (Algorithmic Music in Haskell (Invited Talk) and Well-Typed Music Does Not Sound Wrong (Experience Report) more on this paper later! Reading it for the reading club next Friday).

And I definitely enjoyed the Functional Pearls as well. Some of the talks I haven’t got a clue, but the application talks were much better.

I also went to a spontaneous workshop about data science in Haskell, some Functional High-Performance Computing and ML (the language) talks. Such a diversity field and community!

Of course, the last day of the whole at FARM was awesome! It definitely has a different vibe than ISMIR, but it’s always good to have diversity (just went to a diversity workshop on Monday, maybe more on this later). The common goal is to make it musically significant and intellectually stimulating!

Finally, the live coding concert. It was great to talk to many live coders including Alex Mclean, Neil C. Smith and Alexandra Cárdenas. They were using Haskell and other languages in a very different and creative way. More experiments on that later on.

Ok, a few more things on my to-do list now… It never ends..

SysMus 2017 and conferencing

10th International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology

I must admit that it was bad on my part that I only knew this conference two weeks before it took place. I must have seen the posts on some mailing list about it, but I didn’t look into details probably because I didn’t think I’d have the luxury to go to a student musicology conference. I’m glad that I didn’t book my return flight too early and left myself a day in London. It’s always nice to visit QMUL again!



The conference was very nicely organised by students. The presenters are a good mix of master and PhD students. The are also professors in talk and panel. Some familiar faces from the MIR community as well.

The topics are much more about music content, meaning and education, etc.: full stack music! I enjoyed them a lot.

And it’s definitely a trend that virtual conferences are getting more and more popular. The conference was streamed on facebook (ICFP was on an Oxford livestream service, also virtual presentations in CSMC)! But one have to register to get access of to join the facebook group for viewing and asking questions.

After two weeks of conferencing, I definitely gained an enormous amount: knowledge, movitation, connection, etc. At the same time, the comfortable routines would break during conferences.  Can’t say it’s a good or bad thing, but I’m understanding it better and better what is the most efficient way of doing things given a context. Might not be bad to join some conferences virtually next time!


Neural symbolic workshop

(This is one of the belated summer posts)

I went to this workshop just for one day after my summer “holidays” in the UK. Although I didn’t have much time and the background in this area of research, there were defintely some interesting materials for music. It’s a different way of thinking machine learning. And it was a nice experience to talk to people of different mindsets about my research.

The website is here and the proceeding is finally available, too:


Have to say that there were some talks with formulations but not yet implementations. But talks are just stimuli to make people think in various directions, right? Need to go further and further into details with the talks I like…

CSMC 2017: 2nd Conference on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity

After being involved in last year, it’s nice to be back and contribute to the conference again.

We had the following 3-days programme:

It’s a small and cosy conference with lots of discussions (4 panels!). Audience consist of a good mix of people from the industry (Jukedeck, Melodrive, Sibelius!), from music/musicology and from computer science. People gave constructive and insightful suggestions to each other’s research/system. Lots of presentations/demonstrations are much easier to understand onsite than from the paper. It worths the travel (specially when combined with another conference nearby) to also get to talk to conference friends/colleagues. I enjoyed it very much!



I was chairing a paper session on the first day and moderating a panel on the last day. Initially I was organising two panel sessions: one about live coding and another one on music pattern. Unfortunately the first one didn’t work out. But I was lucky to be able to meet the live coders anyway at FARM (, a post coming soon) the week before CSMC.

The second panels was the one I was very looking forward to since music patterns is precisely in my PhD topic. And I was excited because we had lots of prestigious panellists: with Srikanth Cherla, Elaine Chew, Roger Dean, Steven Jan, David Meredith, Tillman Weyde, and Darrell Conklin. It was clear that each panelist got their own view on music patterns: what is a music pattern, where does music pattern come from, music pattern and music structure, why is it important , etc. It’s such a diverse problem! There were lots of new ideas and thoughts got accross the room.

We made some slides and documents during the discussion. Please shoot me an email if you’re interested in getting them!

It’s a pity that we had some Skype issues, especially with the connection to India…

Attending ICFP 2017

Today is the last day of ICFP 2017. It was a fascinating three days conference (+1 day PLMW who partially funded me to conference, a big thank you! And the content was great, too: I’m checking out all the previous PLMW videos now!).

I’m in general very positive about the conference, but I have to say, it’s not in my comfort zone (yet). As you can probably deduce, this is my first ICFP and my knowledge about functional programming is way below the sealevel of other conference attendees. The up side of this is, when I talk to people, there’s lots of gain for me; the down side is, it makes it hard to approach to people, especially not to take their valuable time when they could have more productive conversations. Towards the end, I think I’m getting used to have more casual and short conversations, which hopefully could be small gains for both sides. On my side, I definitely gained a lot by talking to people from very different backgrounds. Although this happened, the people are in general very nice and open!

The technical side of the talks are very interesting but challenging. In general, I think I was able to enjoy the first 5 mins of each talk at least. And I was able to have a sense of the main topics in this area of research, get to know the concept of pearl and experience report, the kind of equations and terms that appear again and again, the interaction between the audience and the speakres, etc. The real-time questions and answers on the slack channels pointed me more directions. Some authors put their slides there also and it was great to be able to look at the slides as reference when the talk was happening. These blog posts also helped me understanding the materials.

Putting aside the technical part, some of the talks are really very well-made (background intro, anologies, code and interaction embeddings, high-lighting, colour schemes and comics as well of course!). I think I can definitely use some of those presentation techniques to future research.

In the end, it was three + 1 days with lots of content. I think I’ll check out the papers in more details at some point and try to understand more what was going on (maybe with more guidance..). The Oxford podcast did live stream this year, but they will probably put the videos online soon, and that would help too. In the mean time, I will go back and learn more foundations…(I just realised in these days the tolls of never did a CS degree..)

It is a mix of being fortunate and unfortunate that there are lots of deadlines coming up and I need to work when there’s no talks and no mingles. Always a balance of input and output!

Learnt a lot and gained lots of motivations! The week is not over yet though. Looking forward to the few workshops happening Thursday and Friday, and FARM on Saturday!