Award #50: Wanna CEEMI?

Wanna CEEMI?, February’s recipient of a $1000 Awesome Pittsburgh grant, was developed by multimedia artist and classical guitar instructor Gil Teixeira, a native of Portugal. Gil began CEEMI in London as part of his final project of his Music Leadership Masters program at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. His project swayed the trustees at voting time with its technological, quirky, experimental and downright awesome nature. So what is it?

CEEMI can quickly be described as hardware which transforms a WiFi compatible device (smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop) into a collaborative and spontaneous electronic musical instrument. It was specially designed for musical performance by groups of people who lack musical training. CEEMI’s goal is to harness the power of technology in order to connect people in real time, in a live setting. It’s less about humans interacting with technology, and more about technology as a means to human interaction.

Awesome Pittsburgh trustee Matt Gaston is pleased and impressed that “Pittsburgh will be the first city in the world to benefit from the performances that Gil is planning for this summer.” The project was envisioned as a series of flash mobs taking place in various public spaces in the city, where passersby will be challenged to participate in a massive music workshop/performance. Wanna CEEMI? engages both the people who actively engage in this massive creative process with their smartphones and those audience members who will randomly and passively witness this unexpected creative and social experience. Each event will generate an original piece of music “in the moment” and a corresponding video.

Gil will use the grant money to invest in both hardware to accommodate larger crowds and to cover the organizational costs of events, i.e. rental of sound amplification and film gear, permits, etc.

Plans are underway to host the flash mobs in late spring and summer. To sustain the spontaneous vibe of the project, days and times will only be revealed through the Twitter account @WannaCEEMI. Lastly, in partnership with Hope Academy in East Liberty, an auxiliary event will be offered on a  weekly basis starting on April 7: the world’s first CEEMI Band! Visit this website to fill out a CEEMI Band registration form:playceemi.com/wannaceemi.

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