In the lead up to the launch of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app, we’d like to tell you the story of our journey to this point.

Over the next few days we’ll release ten blogs by project manager Barbara Palczynski, charting the ten months it’s taken to turn ideas into reality. Sign up at to receive notification when the app goes live.

A Steep Learning Curve – October 2014

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
Ernest Hemingway


As a Project Manager, I am often asked to oversee complex projects for orchestras. This usually involves assembling a creative team with a host of singers, conductors, chorus, orchestra, directors, lighting designers, children, costumes, props and so on.

The #clappingmusicapp project has assembled a completely different cast. The relationship brokered by Nesta between London Sinfonietta (arts lead), Touchpress (technology partner) and Queen Mary University of London (research partner) brings together colleagues with very unique skills. This is especially poignant in our team meetings as we work to develop a constructive modus operandi to take our planning forwards. It is a steep learning curve, as we begin the process of understanding each other’s language and how we will build an app together.

We are acutely aware of the pitfalls of these Nesta Digital R&D projects from talking to other projects – the extremely rigorous milestones structures – the tight deadlines – and the learning requirements for all concerned. But our ideas’ cup overfloweth, and if we continue to listen, we will continue to grow.

Barbara Palczynski

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