About John Maxwell Hobbs

John Maxwell Hobbs

John Maxwell Hobbs

Media consultant, internet pioneer, and BBC Scotland’s former Head of Technology, John Maxwell Hobbs has worked at the intersection of art and technology for over 20 years. He has recently conceived and developed BBC Music’s initiative with PRS Foundation and BASCA to foster, promote, and commission new British songwriters.

Joining the BBC in 2006 to launch BBC Scotland’s 21st Century broadcasting facility, Pacific Quay, he oversaw PQ’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games coverage, and coverage of the Scottish Referendum. He launched BBC ALBA, Scotland’s Gaelic television channel, and developed the BBC’s first fully tapeless, HD workflow.

Before the BBC, he founded a media consultancy in Stockholm, specialising in digital creative services for customers like Ericsson and IKEA.

In New York City, as Ericsson’s Head of Creative Development for CyberLab, he lead mobile internet development and helped to create the Delphi Pad, a forerunner of devices like the iPad.

Heavily involved in the internet start-up scene in New York City, he worked for EarthWeb, one of the first dotcoms to go public.

He is a non-executive director of Kiltr, serves on the Board of Screen Academy Scotland, and is Vice President of Vanguard Visions, an organisation fostering artists experimenting with technology.

He produced performances by DJ Spooky, Robert Wilson, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and others during his time as the Producing Director of The Kitchen, the celebrated avant garde performance space in New York City.

As a composer he has released several CDs and composed scores for a number of independent short films and his project “Acoustic Transportation” has been shortlisted for the NEM Art & Design Contest 2011.

In 2005, he completed Cinema Volta: Daily Ambience, a project in which he recorded and released a new piece of music every day for a year and has now gained over 100,000 listeners.

He is a musician and composer who releases music under the name Cinema Volta.

Although most of his work is solo, he has played with a variety of musicians, including Rhys ChathamDavid Gamper of the Deep Listening Band, DJ David Azarch of the Mudd Club, and on one late, drunken evening, Cheeta Chrome of the Dead Boys.

As a producer, he has worked with DJ SpookyGlen BrancaPhilip GlassSteve ReichDiamanda GalasDavid Hykes, every member of the New York Dolls, and more.

He is known for the Daily Ambience project in which he recorded and released a new piece of music every day for a year.

He has extensive experience in communicating complex technological ideas to the general public through digital media, as well as guiding the development of cutting-edge internet applications and mobile application strategy and development, and is in demand as a speaker on media and technology topics.

He’s been a judge for the BBC Audio & Music Awards in the Best Sound category and a member of the BBC Introducing Listening Panel. Currently he is heading the team developing BBC Scotland’s strategy.

As a sound engineer he worked with They Might Be Giants, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and others.

As a composer he has released several CDs and composed scores for a number of independent short films.

His contributions to the early days of music on the web have been documented in the book Virtual Music: How the Web Got Wired for Sound by William Duckworth. From the book: “In a review of his interactive online instrument, Web Phases, Kyle Gann of the Village Voice described it as being ‘on a noticeably higher artistic level’ than the earliest tape-music and computer-music pieces, concluding that ‘the potential for social reorientation is even more incredible’, and predicting ‘we’ll look back and say 1998 was the year our relationship to music entered a new era‘.”

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Redsign of Ericsson’s websites on both Internet and intranet.

EARTH TO THE UNKNOWN POWER – The Kitchen – US/Le Thoronet Abbey – France

Developed and produced the “Virtual Abbey” with David Hykes. Through the use of audio codecs and ISDN transmission, the voices of The Harmonic Choir were transmitted from New York to Toulon, played back in a 12th century abbey, and the resulting acoustic reverberation was transmitted back to New York in real time. The concert was attended by audiences in both cities and released on CD by Catalyst/BMG

ARTICLES (all links are to archived versions)

Towards Hypermusic -Leonardo 
Introduction to the Java Sound API – Earthweb.com
Java Sound MIDI API – Earthweb.com
Synchronized Multimedia Interface Language – Earthweb.com
Customizing Multimedia With A SMIL – Earthweb.com
Working With SMIL – Earthweb.com  
Real Text and Real Pix –Earthweb.com  
Perspective: Turning Cybercasts From Music Promotion to Art Form-@New York 
Sound On The Internet  – Earthweb.com

LECTURES

Chairman – eBiz UK Summit 2003 – Glasgow, Scotland.

TAMING THE BEAST- “OLD GROWTH” WEB SITES, EBUSINESS AND XML
ebiz Summit 2002 – The Belfry, Birmingham, UK

UNIFIYING MULTIPLE GLOBAL WEB INITITATIVES
Strategic e-Business Integration – Amsterdam

DELIVERING CONTENT TO MULTIPLE DEVICES – ERICSSON.COM, A CASE STUDY
Digital Content Management 2001 – Stockholm

FORM FACTORS AND FUNCTIONS
CTIA Wireless 2000 – New Orleans

OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIRD PARTY DEVELOPERS IN THE EMERGING WIRELESS WORLD
EPOCWorld Developer’s Conference – London

THE ACOUSTICS OF CYBERSPACE
Parsons School of Design – New York

MULTIMEDIA ON THE WEB
Lecture to “Telecommunications for Artists” class at the School of Visual Arts

ARTS ORGANIZATIONS AND THE WEB
Panel Discussion, Lincoln Center, Fall 1996 Employment History

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

2003 – Present Founder Oden Konsult AB, Stockholm Sweden

Oden Konsult is a Stockholm-based digital media consultancy specializing in helping European companies in the areas of enterprise architecture, intranet portals, digital media and system integration.

2000 – September 2003 – Chief Information Architect – Ericsson Corporate Web Group, Ericsson Headquarters – Stockholm

•  Worked with Ericsson’s marketing and communications organizations to develop an effective strategy to promote Ericsson’s products and solutions on the Internet.

•  In charge of Internet and intranet information architecture and technology strategies for Ericsson globally.

•  Played a major role in the selection of software and suppliers for Ericsson’s Enterprise Portal platform.

•  Was responsible for defining functional requirements and information architecture for Ericsson’s portal.

•  Oversaw the relaunch of Ericsson’s global website with a new visual and interaction design and content management system.

•  Responsible for overseeing an annual technical budget of 25,000,000 SEK.

•  Responsible for ensuring on-time delivery of new systems and functionality.

1998 – 2000 – Head of Creative Development – In charge of research and development and prototyping of digital multimedia applications and devices for Ericsson.

•  Initiated the creation of the Ericsson Mobility World concept.   Mobility World is Ericsson’s global outreach program to promote the use and development of mobile applications by third parties.

•  Worked both within Ericsson and with external software companies to develop business cases, marketing and development strategies, and technical roadmaps for mobile applications.

•  Trained 3rd party software developers in the techniques of creating software for mobile platforms in the areas of WAP, GPRS and 3G.

•  In residence at Ericsson’s Singapore CyberLab to consult on the development of the Delphi Pad, a wireless, Linux-based tablet computer.

•  Consulted on the development of the user interface for the WAP browser on the Ericsson R320. This design was used in Ericsson phones up through the T20.

1997 – 1996 – Senior Manager of Multimedia Technology – EarthWeb – New York City

Initially hired as web site producer, responsible for the architecture and delivery of chatplanet.com, a directory of Java chatrooms.   The site was designed, developed and launched in a six week period.

•  Led research and development effort focused on peer to peer audio and video conferencing as part of the infamous “Tesla” project.   Was an evaluator of the Java Media Framework for Sun Microsystems.

•  Designed and produced a database-driven dynamic site, listing locations and events of more than 6,000 EarthWeb Chat sites on the web.

•  Supervised a team comprised of Java programmers, graphic designers, and customer service agents.

1991-96 – Producing Director/New Technologies – The Kitchen Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film and Literature – New York, NY

•  Developed and produced the “Virtual Abbey” with David Hykes. Through the use of audio codecs and ISDN transmission, the voices of The Harmonic Choir were transmitted from New York to Toulon, played back in a 12th century abbey, and the resulting acoustic reverberation was transmitted back to New York in real time. The concert was attended by audiences in both cities and released on CD by Catalyst/BMG

•  Responsible for producing over 150 evenings of performance featuring over 500 artists. Also acting as producer for annual fundraising performances at large venues. These events have included performances by Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Eric Bogosian, and Laurie Anderson.

•  Responsible for implementing ISDN video and audio technologies for use in multi-site performances involving such artists as Future Sound of London (ISDN Album), Mort Subotnick, Alvin Lucier, DJ Spooky, and others. Created The Kitchen’s website in early 1994, which was the first site of it’s kind.

1989-92 – Freelance Video Camera Operator – New York, NY

•  Regular videocamera operator for concerts at The Pladium, NYC.

•  Video documentation and editing at The Kitchen and other performance venues in New York

1986-91 – Freelance Sound Engineer – New York, NY

•  Worked as a sound engineer for live performances by They Might Be Giants, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, and others.

•  Film sound engineer for Propaganda, The End, and other production companies.

•  Owned and operated 208 Studios, a rehearsal and recording studio.

1983-86 – Marketing and Technical Support – Voicemail International, Inc. – New York, NY and Santa Clara, CA.

•  In charge of joint marketing and development program between Voicemail International and Digital Equipment Corporation for the Eastern United States.

•  Responsible for training DEC Office Automation sales force and troubleshooting installed base of dedicated systems.

•  Collaborated on creation of marketing plans and troubleshooting manuals for dedicated systems.

AFFILIATIONS

Chairman, Teamsite User’s Group – Northern Europe
Vice President, Board of Directors of Vanguard Visions – New York, Stockholm
Member of the Mayor’s Council on New Media in New York City- Digital Arts subcommittee
Member of the Audio Engineering Society