FULL-TEXT AVAILABLE IN PRINT EDITION ONLY     Maybe someone would have been able to guess what I was getting myself into when I left for STEIM in The Netherlands. After all, there was a pretty clear sign. All passengers had boarded the plane, and we all were eager to get to our destinations or make our connecting flights. But a three-hour electrical storm changed everyone’s plans. Looking out the window at the lightning arching above the tarmac, I wondered whether my plan to work with the software gurus at STEIM—the only independent live-electronic-music centre in the world exclusively dedicated to the performing arts—was just static electricity sparking in my imagination. My purpose in applying to STEIM was based on a musical problem I was having little luck solving: live sampling with an improvising orchestra. Would I be able to understand what the technical experts might tell me?
After several delays and a missed connection, I arrived at my destination a day late. Walking through the front door of STEIM, I felt the energy running through the staff and my fellow newly arrived residents. I should have realized at that moment that the beginning of my journey was symbolic. What would happen to me over the next two weeks would be a storm of new ideas, new software, new technology, new collaborations, and new conceptual frameworks. And in spite of my clearly laid plans, my destination itself would change because of what would happen to me at STEIM—the centre for electronic music performance. 
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Image: STEIM's iconic Cracklebox, the first analog audio synthesizer played by touch. Image by: Frank Baldé