About Zoe Lin
A tech-savvy composer, Zoe (Yi-Cheng) Lin earned her DMA degree in music composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a focus on technology and music theories, programming, and research.
Her multidisciplinary musical work includes the music, sound effects, and 3D immersive mixing of the VR film “Diving into Siraya;” the VR app “VArt Journey;” the algorithmic composition within the app titled “The Forest Breath;” and the algorithmic music parts of the sound and light installation “The Image of the Light Score,” a part of the permanent outdoor exhibition at The Taiwan Music Institute.
The VR film “Diving into Siraya” with her music composition has been exhibited at the internationally famous film festival BIFAN in Korea and Immersive Pavilion at ACM Siggraph, United States in 2021, and her multi-media work for solo saxophone, piano, and electroacoustic music “Journey into the World of Dimensions” which is the first contemporary music with VR scene in Taiwan (possibly in Asia or the world in 2016), has been performed at World Saxophone Congress 2018, and other countries, such as Germany, UK, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Her research includes algorithmic composition, reinforcement learning, neural networks (especially NLP), Unity 3D, and VR development. Her music pushes the boundary of contemporary musical aesthetics and media. She is presently experimenting with auditory-visual synesthesia in electroacoustic music compositions and developing new immersive mixing techniques in binaural format.
Zoe Lin has worked as Chief Music Officer at AMPai Music in charge of the AI music compositional system. In academia, she is one of the course designers of the national project “/PLUS: Programming Learning for University Students.” Currently, Zoe Lin is teaching“Learning Programming for Music at National Taiwan Normal University, and music composition at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan.
The Secret of Zoe
I believe there is always new knowledge between fields to explore. Just like the Peano curve in math, we will get the infinite lengths of a line and take the line into up-level dimensions (2D as a square). I have the ability to see common structures underneath various fields and integrate them seamlessly. Usually, when musicians or artists cooperating with engineers, they tend to see what engineers can do and design their work based on the information the engineer provides. The consequences usually depend on the time they work together and lots of compromises involved. As for myself an engineer, who learn programming languages, audio signal processing, and have used Python dealing with MIDI as daily work, I always ponder the possible ways between music and technologies daily for more than five years, such as musical algorithmic structure with game design in 3D VR scenes, the interactive App in my work, or the AI composition system of the AMPai.com I am working for. Being both a musician and an engineer makes the AMPai.com different from others, we have music with well-formed structure as products.
How I start the journey as both a musician and an engineer? After I got my DMA degree in music and started teaching as an assistant professor in Taiwan, I felt that there is an invisible wall for music composition. The invisible wall is how your peers view your music based on their knowledge about contemporary classical music. I am a person who cannot do the same work twice. I hate repeating myself nor copying people. Therefore, I need to find a way to compose and being innovative enough so that when people see or listen to my music, they cannot feel the connection directly to the knowledge they've gotten from textbooks. I need to have my voice, and the solution is pioneering technologies, and I need to go deeper by myself to eliminate the first gap between musicians and engineers. I started learning engineering online, including knowledge about Python, Web developing, Audio Signal Processing, ChucK, Machine Learning, Math (including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Complex number, and Euler’s Formula, Sound Design and Synthesis, etc.). I also got a certification as an iOS engineer from a training organization, too. By filling out as many as knowledge gaps between fields in digital music and mingled knowledge of fields with the academic composition skills (such as Schenkerian analysis, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, etc.), what I have achieved makes my music a huge difference from the music of my peers. Right now, by synthesizing different ideas from different fields, I am exploring possibilities of the musical art industries, and lead students for being brave in innovation!