Barry Threw is an artist working in immersive and interactive experience. He works in collaboration with institutions, artists and organizations at the intersection of technology and culture. Focused on forward-looking artistic projects creatively (mis)using experiential technologies, he leaves behind installation, performance and artefact.
Threw’s work has been presented internationally at festivals including ORF Musikprotokol, Graz, Austria; Club Transmediale, Berlin, DE; Mutek, Montreal, CA; Cynetart, Dresden, DE; Siggraph, San Diego, US. His installation work has been shown at veunes including the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the YouTube BrandLab, the Sacremento International Airport, and CalIT2 at the University of California San Digeo, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. He has worked in collaboration with myriad artists including Kronos Quartet, Oval, Edwin van der Heide, Egbert Mittlestadt, Biosphere, Camille Utterback, Signal, Monolake and Jon Rose.
Threw has worked with a variety of organizations stationed at the crossroads of art and technology — as Software Director for Keith McMillen Instruments, developing advanced technology to bridge traditional string instruments with the computer; Software Architect with Recombinant Media Labs, presenting multi-channel surround cinema at installations and festivals around the world; on the Board of Directors for the BEAM Foundation, seeking to spark a Western new classical music movement based on the technologies and aesthetics of the 21st century; and as a Technical Advisor with the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a San Francisco non-profit and digital arts gallery dedicated to building social consciousness through digital culture. He works with Fabricatorz to advance projects that evolving our cultural ecosystems through freedom and sharing. Most recently he is the Director of Software at Obscura Digital, a San Francisco creative technology studio specializing in the design and execution of immersive and interactive experiences worldwide.
Threw received an undergraduate degree with a dual major in Music Production and Engineering and Music Synthesis from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He went on to study electronic music composition, receiving a degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College in Oakland, CA.
- Master of Fine Arts — Electronic Music and Recording Media, 2004 – 2006, Mills College
- Coursework in: Computer Music, Composition, Deep Listening, Site Specific Installation Art, Orchestration, Electronics
- Bachelor of Music — Dual Major Production and Engineering & Music Synthesis, 2001 – 2004, Berklee College of Music
- Coursework in: Digital Audio, Mastering and Delivery, Non-Linear Editing, Electronic Music Composition, Interactive Performance Systems, Record Production, Post Production, Film Scoring, Alternate Music Controllers, Multi-Track Recording and Mixing, Traditional Composition, Jazz Harmony, Music Theory, Art History
- Additional Non-Matriculating Course Work — Emphasis in Music. 2000 – 2001, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Coursework in: History of Western Music, Music Theory, Electro-Acoustic Music Composition
- Feb 10 – Present – Obscura – Head of Software Development
- Obscura, a global innovator in creative vision, technical strategy, and engaging events, delivers entertaining, informative, and educational communications experiences for an international client base.
For more than a decade, Obscura has been delving into new and inventive territories for some of the world’s most forward-thinking corporations, governments, museums, and public institutions.
Obscura’s creative technology studio, equipped with the imaginative minds of designers, artists, composers, and engineers, manifests award-winning installations and major international events that generate a sense of awe, wonder, and inspiration for live audiences.
- Obscura, a global innovator in creative vision, technical strategy, and engaging events, delivers entertaining, informative, and educational communications experiences for an international client base.
- Jan 08 – Present — Fabricatorz — Developer
- The Fabricatorz is a “open” production company that creates projects 50% of the time internally and then takes on external projects the other 50% of the time. We specialize in Free and Open Source Software, Creative Commons licenses/technology, growing on-line and off-line communities in San Francisco, China and the Arab World.
- Nov 06 – Jan 10 — Keith McMillen Instruments — Lead Developer / Software Director
- Keith McMillen Instruments makes innovative technology for string instruments. Our products let musicians that are familiar with traditional string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass, or guitar) use the computer as an extension of their current playing ability. New technology inspires new art, and we hope that our products will enable performers to take their music in directions never before possible.
- KMI’s first two flagship products are the K-Bow, the first commercially available wireless sensor bow, and StringPort, a polyphonic string-to-USB 2.0 converter with a unique, powerful, and extensible software suite that greatly expands the synthesis and processing palette of guitarists, violinists, bassists, and other stringed instrument players.
- In 2011 the SoftStep, a multi-dimensional lightweight foot controller was released with an integrated software suite, further redefining the landscape for powerful and portable equipment for live electronica music performance.
- Jun 06 – Present — Recombinant Media Labs — Software Architect and Technical Direction
- Recombinant Media Labs is dedicated to immersive and interactive media research, development and presentation. We explore the emerging medium of “spatial media synthesis”, the merging of surround sound and surround video, and their placement in space. Our current nomadic festival apparatus is a 10-screen, 360-degree, surround cinema space with full surround sound capabilities.
- Oct 06 – Jul 08 — Immersive Media Research — Programmer
- Immersive Media Research offers tools and consulting for specialized psycho-acoustics and sound motion control expert systems, particularly targeted a surround sound.
- Feb 06 – Feb 07 — BEAM Foundation — Technical Manager
- The BEAM Foundation fosters electronic music that exemplifies the tools and aesthetic of the 21st Century. Using enhanced instruments coupled through an intelligent computer network, we create new music that is reactive, introspective, and fluid; resulting in surprising complexity and intimacy.
- Sep 05 – Jan 07 — Skyline Studios — Audio Engineer, Sound Designer
- Feb 05 – Feb 07 — SymbolShift — Web Application Developer
- Feb 05 – May 06 — Mills College — Network Support
- Sep 04 – Mar 05 — Spark Studios — Audio Engineer
- Jan 02 – Jan 05 — Berklee College of Music — Network Systems Administrator
- May 01 – Jul 01 — B and J Computers — Service Technician / Intern
- Jan 01 – May 01 — University of Illinois — On-Site Computing Consultant
- Jul 00 – Sep 00 — Southern Illinois University — SQL Programmer
- Feb 00 – Jun 00 — Earthlink — Remote Technical Support
- Sep 98 – Jan 99 — GlobalEyes Communications, Inc. — Technical Support Representative
- Jun 98 – Jul 00 — Murphysboro Community School District — Network Management
- Media Programming – MaxMSP/Jitter, Supercollider, TouchDesigner, Csound, Flash / Actionscript
- OS – UNIX (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, iOS, Windows Vista/XP/NT/98/95/3.x, MS-DOS.
- Sound – ProTools, Finale, Cubase, Audacity, Bias Peak, Logic Pro.
- Misc – Audio production equipment, SSL, Neve, Yamaha, Sony consoles, analog tape machines, IT and networking equipment, CISCO IOS, TCP/IP, Ethernet, Token-Ring, 802.11q, wiring, server admin, client system support
- Board Member — BEAM Foundation
- Advisory Board — ME’D1.ATE Soundwave Festival
- Technical Advisor — Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
Organization, Participation and Events
- Artup #2. Organizer. w Ellen Cushing. San Francisco, CA. 05/19/13.
- Artup #1. Organizer. w Madalyn Merkey, Vlad Spears, and Ryan Alexander. San Francisco, CA. 04/02/13.
- Urban Prototyping Festival San Francisco. Head of Production. w/ Gray Area Foundation of the Arts. 10/20/12.
- Milleux Sonores. Installation and Technical Advisor. w/ Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, swissnex San Francisco, and ICST Zurich. Marcus Maeder curator. 09/11/10 – 11/19/10.
- SENSEable Cities, Exploring Urban Futures. Installation and Technical Advisor. Exhibition w/ MIT Senseable Cities Lab. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 06/20/10.
- Transpose. Installation and Technical Advisor. Exhibition w/ Aaron Koblin and Robert Hodgin. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 06/11/10.
- Do Androids Paint Electric Sheep?. Moderator. Panel and Disussion w/ Andrew (Andy) W. Schmeder, Christian Nagler, Terre Unité Parker, Rachel Beth Egenhoefer and Ian Smith-Heisters. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 04/03/10.
- In Tandem: Max Mathews, Aaron Koblin, and Daniel Massey. Organizer. +Dialog Symposium. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 03/19/10.
- LoveTech 1 Year Anniversary. Organizer. San Francisco. 01/30/10.
- Prototype Installation and Technical Advisor. Exhibition w/ Alphonzo Solorzano, Gabriel Dunne, Ryan Alexander, Miles Stemper and Daniel Massey. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 01/09/10 – 02/03/10.
- Overlap MaxMSP/Jitter/Live Salon, Merry Maxmas. Organizer. w/ Adam Murry, Vlad Spears, and Elise Baldwin. 12/15/09.
- Overlap MaxMSP/Jitter/Live Salon, Dia de los Maxos. Organizer. w/ Jef Stott, Edison, Preshish Moments. 10/31/09.
- Open, Inaugural Exhibition. Installation and Technical Advisor. Exhibition w/ C.E.B. Reas, Stamen Design and Camille Utterback. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 10/01/09 – 11/18/09.
- Overlap Salon #8. Organizer, Berkeley Center for New Media. 09/02/09
- Overlap Salon #7. Organizer. w/ Matt Ridenour, Peter Nyboer, Michael Zbyszynski. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco. 07/22/09
- Overlap Salon #6. Organizer. SoundArts, San Francisco. 06/03/09
- Overlap Salon #5. Organizer. SoundArts, San Francisco. 04/29/09
- Overlap Salon #4. Organizer. SoundArts, San Francisco. 03/11/09
- Overlap Salon #3. Organizer. SoundArts, San Francisco. 2/13/09
Presentations and Lectures
- Shared Feedback: Active/Passive Collaborative Installations and Performance. San Francisco Art Institute. 04/04/13.
- Building by Doing: Visually Guided Design in TouchDesigner. Resonate IO Festival. Belgrade, Serbia. 03/23/13.
- Getting Physical. How Physical is the New Digital?. SXSW Interactive 2013. Austin, TX. 03/09/13.
- Illuminique Dome Projection. Yerba Buena Arts in Dialogue. 11/15/12.
- High Impact 3D Interactive Marketing in Public Places. DNA US Conference. Los Angeles, CA. 10/03/12.
- Immersive Media, What’s so Spatial about it?. Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Sanford University. 04/25/12.
- Digital Marketing Roundtable. Society of Digital Agencies. Web panel. 11/17/11.
- Cuelight and Kinect Experiments. Art && Code 3d Conference. Pittsburgh, PA. 10/22/11.
- Hot Spots: Mapping Anxious Sites of Projection. San Francisco Art Institute. 04/26/11.
- ictQatar Open Source Software Workshop. Doha, Qatar. 10/23/10.
- The K-Bow System. California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco, CA. 08/05/10.
- Baroque Dreams: Live Multimedia Performance, Interpretive Culture, and Open Source Software. Libre Graphics Meeting 2010. Brussels, BE, 05/30/10.
- Innovation in Musical Instruments. swissnex San Francisco. 10/30/09.
- The Poly~ Object for Fun and Profit. Overlap Salon. Berkeley Center for New Media. Berkeley, CA. 09/02/09
- Detachable Polyphonic Pickup for Bowed Stringed Instruments. poster session. International Computer Music Conference 2010. Montreal, Canada. 08/19/09.
- How to Sink All of your Personal Relationships by Being an Art Technologist. CNMAT Max Night School. UC Berkeley. Berkeley, CA. 07/31/09.
- The K-Bow with Jon Rose. STEIM. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 04/13/09.
- The K-Bow Sensor Bow System. IRCAM. Paris, France. 04/09/09.
- Media Art Technology for Fun and Profit. California College of the Arts. San Francisco, CA. 03/04/09.
- Alternative Controllers and the K-Bow. Berklee College of Music. Boston, MA. 07/23/09.
- Realtime Interactive Surround Sound From a Traditional String Instrument. BArCMuT Meeting. San Francisco, CA. 09/11/08.
- Zeroconf Networking for Musical Devices. MIDI Manufacturers Association Meeting. San Francisco, CA. 08/30/08.
- Making New Aesthetics for Art. Pecha Kucha Night. San Francisco, CA. 5/30/07.
- Composing for NuRoque in the MACIAS System. CCRMA, Stanford University. Palo Alto, CA. 05/23/06.
- Introduction to Network Cabling. Illinois Student Technology Conference. Chicago, IL. 1999.
- Kendrick Lamar, Cazzette, Young Blood Hawke. Spotify Live, SXSW 2013. Austin, TX. with Obscura Digital. 03/13/13.
- Jay-Z, FloRida, Neon Trees. YouTube Brandcast 2012. New York, NY. with Obscura Digtial. 05/02/12.
- Hyena Hive & Karl Lemieux, N/A. RML Cinechamber. Mutek. Montreal, CA. 06/03/12.
- Robin Fox, New Works for Synchronator. RML Cinechamber. Mutek. Montreal, CA. 06/02/12.
- Edwin van der Heide, DSLE-1. RML Cinechamber. Mutek. Montreal, CA. 06/02/12.
- Mothership. orchestral sampler. with Mason Bates. 2012.
- Biosphere and Egbert Mittlestadt, Raume. RML Cinechamber. Mutek. Monteral, CA. 05/26/12. 05/27/12.
- Marsen Jules, GLAST. RML Cinechamber. Mutek. Monteral, CA. 05/29/12.
- Polar Suite. for four augmented string bows. with composer Douglas Quin, Keith McMillen, and Kronos Quartet. first performance Syracuse, NY. 2011.
- Palimpolin. for augmented violin. with Jon Rose. 2011.
- Edwin van der Heide, DSLE-1. RML Cinechamber. Musikprotokoll. Graz, AU. 2011.
- Jade/Pita, Noctiluscence. RML Cinechamber. Musikprotokoll. Graz, AU. 2011.
- Subshubs, Journey Into the Mind of PP. RML Cinechamber. Musikprotokoll. Graz, AU. 2011.
- Avant Mutek Tour. Engineering. Live Performance w/ Akufen, Stephen Beaupre and Sutekh. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. 04/16/10.
- Rusty Air in Carolina. orchestral sampler. with Mason Bates. 2009.
- Lesley Flanigan and Tristan Perich, Sculpting Sound. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. San Francisco, CA. Nov 19th, 2009.
- Crosstalk. with Jay Cloit. 2007.
- Botlero. with TrioMetrik. 2007.
- Louis Dufort and Francis Dhomont. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. December 1st, 2007.
- Chris Watson & Florian Hecker. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. November 30, 2007.
- Kangding Ray & Blixa Bargeld w/ Alva Noto. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. Sepember 28, 2007.
- Biosphere w/ Egbert Mittelstädt. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. September 15, 2007.
- John Ducan & John Wiese & Joshua Churchill. Compound. San Francisco, CA. July 20, 2007.
- Thomas Koner. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. June 22 & 23, 2007.
- Morton Subotnick w/ Sue C, Until Spring Revisited. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. April 6, 2007.
- Hazard & Joe Colley. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. January 28, 2007.
- Speedy J. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. January 27, 2007.
- Alvin Curran w/ Cenk Ergün. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. January 25, 2007.
- Thomas Feldman & Gudrun Gut. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. January 5, 2007.
- Deadbeat, Richard Devine, Antimatter, Wobbly. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. October 6 & 7, 2006.
- Pan Sonic & Ryoichi Kurokawa, Crossmedia. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. September 23, 24 & 27, 2006.
- Jochem Paap w/ Scott Pagano, Umfeld. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. September 15, 2006.
- The Living Jarboe & Gowns. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. September 9, 2006.
- Skultz Kolgen, ASKAA and FLUUX/TERMINAL. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. August 16 & 17, 2006.
- Jean Jacques Perrey. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. August 29, 2006.
- Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver.1.0b]. Recombinant Media Labs. San Francisco, CA. August. 10, 2006.
- fleshlightmovement. with Kinesthetechic Sense. 2006.
- TrioMetrik. with BEAM Foundation. 2006 – 2009.
- Emergence. Exploratorium Pier 15. with Obscura Digital. San Francisco, CA. 2013.
- Corizone. Westfield Centre “Emporium Dome”. with Obscura Digital. San Francisco, CA. 2012 – 2013.
- Code Redd Campaign Launch. UN Rio+20 Conference, Arcos de Lapa, Rio de Janeiro. with Obscura Digital. 2012.
- Fort Al Jahili. UAE National Day. with Obscura Digital. Al Ain, UAE. 2011.
- Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. UAE National Day. with Obscura Digital. Al Ain, UAE. 2011.
- Illuminique. Westfield Centre “Emporium Dome”. with Obscura Digital. San Francisco, CA. 2011– 2012.
- San Francisco Symphony 100th Anniversary Gala. with Obscura Digital. San Francisco, CA. 2011.
- California Academy Of Sciences Big Bang Gala. with Obscura Digital. San Francisco, CA. 2011.
- CocaCola 125th Anniversary Skyscraper. with Obscura Digital. Atlanta, GA. 2011.
- Google BrandLab at YouTube. San Bruno, CA. with Obscura Digital. 2012.
- San Francisco Public Utility Commission Digital Panorama. San Francisco, CA. with Obscura Digital. 2012.
- King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE). Riyadh, KSA. with Obscura Digital. 2012.
- Active Ecosystem (SMF). Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, CA. with Camille Utterback and Michelle Higa. 2011.
- Nokia Horizon Line. Sunnyvale, CA. with Obscura Digital. 2011.
- Yahoo Bus Stop. San Francisco, CA. with Obscura Digital. 2010.
- GlobalLives World Premiere. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. with many GlobalLives collaborators. 2010.
- Acclair Art Valuation. with Luther Thie and Eyal Fried. 2009.
- Hard Rock Wall. with Obscura Digital. 2009.
- Moon Diaries. with Daniela Steinsapir. 2009.
- Our Environment. with Snibbe Interactive. Beijing Olympic Games pavilion. 2008.
- TinGirl. with Daniela Steinsapir. 2008.
- Scratches. with Daniela Steinsapir. 2008.
- Scope. with Daniela Steinsapir. 2008.
- Screen. University of California San Diego, Siggraph. with Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al. 2007.
- Corridor. with Zachary James Watkins. 2006.
- StarCAVE. 15.1 Surround Audio. University of California San Diego. CalIT2, San Diego, CA. 2007.
- Recombinant Media Labs (Brannan St. Location). San Francisco, CA. 2006 – 2008.
- RML Cinechamber
- Mutek. Montreal, CA. 2012.
- Cynetart. Dresden, DE. 2011.
- ORF-Musikprotokoll. Graz, AU. 2011.
- Club Transmediale. Berlin, DE. 2011.
- University of California San Diego. San Diego, CA. 2009.
- OvalDNA. with Markus Popp / Oval, 2012.
- SoftStep. with Keith McMillen Instruments, 2007 – Present.
- K-Bow. with Keith McMillen Instruments, 2007 – Present.
- StringPort. with Keith McMillen Instruments, 2007 – Present.
- Radio Baton software. with Max Mathews and Tom Oberheim, 2008.
- Respondr. with Respondr Team, 2008.
- Vortex Surround Applications. with Immersive Media Research, 2006 – 2007.
- Sensor Bow for Stringed Instruments. McMillen, Keith. et al. 2009. U.S. Patent 20,090,308,232, filed May 15, 2009.
- Nagorny Karabach. Einsturzende Neubauten. Music Video. Audio/Visual technical support. 2009.
- Night Flyers. Boom operator. 2009.
- My Grief Is My Own. Supervising sound editor. 2008.
- Pleasant Company. Boom operator. 2008.
- Song of the Sea. Sharon Knight. Sound recorder. 2007.
- Indiscreet. Sound designer. 2006.
- Music Moves. Clairdee. Assistant Engineer. Sin-Drome. 2005.
- Bebe Donkey. Antoine Berthiaume & MaryClare Brzytwa. Recording Engineer. Ambiances Magnétiques. 2007.
- Ash. Molly Thompson. Recording Engineer. White Lime Records. 2007.
- Untitled Album. Eli Wise. Mix Engineer. Unreleased. 2007.
- Untitled Album. Erika Anderson. Mix Engineer. Unreleased. 2008.
- Greater than Green. Home utility tracking application. Ruby on rails. 2007.
- FontBook. Information site for font storing application. AJAX country choosing box. 2005.
- Cingular devCentral phone database. Multi-page device filtering AJAX application. 2005.
- Countrywide Lending. Internal intranet site. Databased driven employee commenting forum board. ASP.net & ADO.net + Microsoft SQL server. 2004.
- An Open Web. Commissioned by transmediale. Berlin. 2011. Adam Hyde, Alejandra Perez, Bassel Safadi, Christopher Adams, Mick Fuzz, Jon Phillips, and Michelle Thorne, et al. (Editable version)
- Constructing a Personalizable Gesture-recognizer Infrastructure for the K-Bow. R. Fiebrink, M. Schedel, B.Threw. McGill Conference on Music and Gesture. 2010.
- Programming Graphical Users Interfaces In Cocoa. In Audio Programming in C and C++, MIT Press. Boulanger, R. (Ed.). 2010.
- The K-Bow: A Wireless Sensor Bow for String Instruments. Threw, B. 2009. Mills College.
- Call for a Highly Distributed Metadata. 2007. Project Bar-B-Q Report.
- Overcoming Roadblocks in the Quest for Interactive Audio. 2007. Project Bar-B-Q Report.
- Forgotten soldiers: Murphysboro’s African-American Civil War veterans. Class Publications Committee ; Papyrus Consultants. Jones, P. M. (Ed.). 1994.
Affiliations and Professional Memberships
- ACM SIGraph — Member
- Project Bar-B-Q
- MIDI Manufacturers Association — Member
- MMA Interactive Audio Special Interest Group — Member
- Long Now Foundation — Charter Member
Honors and Awards
- Mills College Mills Alumni Scholarship — 2005-2006
- Berklee College of Music Peter Gabriel Production Award in Music Synthesis — 2004
- Berklee College of Music Recognition of Excellence and Achievement Program Award — 2004
- Berklee Achievement Scholarship — 2003
- Berklee College of Music Dean’s List — Summer 2002, Spring 2003, Summer 2003
- University of Illinois — James Scholar Honors Program
Selected Press Hits
- An Interview with Keith McMillen – Cycling ’74, March 2009
- Recombinant Media Labs Teams up with Gray Area for Downtown Arts Corridor – SFWeekly, February 2009
- Top 10 Products from Winter NAMM 2009 – Mix Magazine, February 2009
- Electronic Musician TV – February 2009
- K-Bow Instigates Symphonic Class Warfare – Gearwire, November 2008
- Keith McMillen Unveils String Instrument Interfaces – Electronista, November 2008
- Berklee College of Music Alumni Profile – February 2008
- Not Your Grandfathers Big Bands – July 2007
- Asphodel and Recombinant Media Labs – XLR8R TV, May 2007
- TrioMetrik on North Bay Reporter – March 2007
- Keith McMillen on KRON – March 2007
- Keith McMillen on Comcast Local Addition – January 2007
- 360-Degree Art for All Senses – SF Gate, October 2006
- Pushing Boundaries of Audio and Visual Surround – Mix Magazine, October 2006
- The Outer and Inner Limits of Sight and Sound Explored by Naut Humon and Recombinant Media Labs – SF360, August 2006