Technologist, sound-designer, inventor and NASA Datanaut LJ Rich is well known for presenting on the BBC’s flagship technology show ‘Click’, though she’s also gathering notoriety talking about her synaesthesia – a mixing of the senses that gives her both super-powers and fatal flaws! She sees colours when hearing music, and food tastes and textures map to musical keys. LJ was interviewed in The New York Times about her experiences as a synaesthete and musician.
Her talks on tech trends always involve audience participation, and she absolutely loves collaborating to create magic.
LJ’s interacted with hundreds of startups, hackspaces, businesses, artists and technologists across the globe. This year, she was selected to be part of NASA’s Datanaut program – and is now currently working with NASA data scientists leading a project on data sonification. In September she was “Hack Queen” for Music Tech Fest in Stockholm.
LJ’s hung out with founders and CEOs (including Twitter, Raspberry Pi, Apple, Google, Barclays), Academic Innovators (MIT, Tokyo Tech, IIT), Rockstar Royalty (Brian May, Stevie Wonder, Will.I.am) and is active in the creative music community. She has a masters in Music from Christ Church Oxford, and adores science fiction, japanese food and recreational lock-picking.
In the last few years, LJ‘s been wired up to cinema storylines, controlled light and music with her brain, sat in the driver’s seat of an autonomous vehicle, built her own bone-conduction sound transmitting device, fixed her own iPad, co-written a one-night-only sci-fi comedy musical, successfully landed an airship in a simulator, composed binaural soundscapes in real time, performed live in a Tokyo 3D Printing Cafe with a dancing robot, and won a hackathon or two. In VR she’s ridden skateboards, punched sharks, seen herself from 2 metres away in real time, and ridden a roller coaster in Virtual and Real life at the same time. Prior to working at the BBC, LJ was a sound engineer for Pete Waterman’s studios. She was also the top-selling technology expert on QVC (The Shopping Channel) watching trends unfold from inside the consumer electronics industry.
As a kid, LJ won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where she fell in love with their electronic music studio. It was here that she plugged data from planetary orbits into a music sequencer so she could listen to the solar system. Now LJ creates unique musical experiences for audiences from Harvard to Tokyo, Paris & LA. She also composes non-linear music for art installations for the likes of Disney, Austin’s SXSW festival, the UK’s Bestival and California’s Nocturnal Wonderland.