Newswise — Troy, N.Y. – The International Symposium on Assistive Technology for Music and Art (ISATMA) will be held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute October 20-22. The symposium is devoted to new technologies and artistic concepts that provide artists across abilities access to creative tools for making multimedia works. All events are open to the public and free of charge.

The symposium addresses adaptive interfaces that can control digital workstations with limited mobility and accessible telepresence environments where groups can collaborate regardless of disability. Talks, technical demos, music presentations, and a panel discussion will lay out the current state of assistive technologies and discuss future needs and trends.

“Every person should have access to music-making, not just individuals only with certain abilities. The goal of the symposium is to explore tools for making art and music that adapt to all bodies, creating more inclusive music and art that is expressive of human experience and of our communities,” said Jonas Braasch, associate professor of architecture, and director of the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture (CCC), which is hosting the symposium.

This year, the symposium will also honor the work of Pauline Oliveros (1932–2016), a Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer, composer, and leader of avant-garde and improvisatory music. Oliveros was a longstanding co-organizer of the ISATMA event and a founding member of the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) consortium.

Each day of the ISATMA, a dedicated concert will be held focusing on a different aspect of Oliveros’ groundbreaking and versatile work: her Deep Listening practice, her work on adaptive instruments to form networks across abilities, and her work on spatial sound.

In a special session on Saturday, October 21, ISATMA will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the AUMI. The camera-based instrument enables individuals with very restricted mobility to perform music. The AUMI is maintained, developed, and supported for practice by the AUMI consortium, with members from Carleton University, University of Kansas, OCAD University, McGill University, Memorial University, and Rensselaer.

The Symposium is hosted by the CCC with grant support from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. For more information, and a full schedule, visit the ISATMA website at

ISATMA at Rensselaer is enabled by The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for higher education which recognizes that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration — working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions — to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges — from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to