• Qhansa D.

ISMIR Conference 2019 | Qhansa's Story

Hi Everybody!


In this blog post, I'm going to share my story related to the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) Conference 2019 in Delft, the Netherlands.



For me, being part of the ISMIR community and attending the annual conference is like a dream come true! I've always been playing music since I was in junior high school, started with playing an acoustic guitar, and sing a little bit. But what I knew back then, music was just a hobby (except the professional musicians).

If you want to watch me chatting around and see a little bit of The ISMIR Conference 2019 experience, you can view this video on my YouTube Channel:


Okay, back to the blog!


The Beginning

Getting a Bachelor's degree in Informatics Engineering at Telkom University, Indonesia, somehow exposed my ability in music performance more. But at the same time, I still learned about technologies, coding, and artificial intelligence by joining the labs and organizations.


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was the first international organization that I joined since the 1st Semester. Although I wasn't sure about my ability to volunteer and organize in this community, I was keen to learn new stuff, especially getting some global experiences.


During my 6th Semester of college, I realized that I had to choose an undergraduate thesis related to artificial intelligence. I've joined the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory for two years and mostly took the elective courses from the Intelligence, Computing, and Multimedia (ICM) track. But the problem, the AI application that was available at that time, was only for image, video, text, and speech.

Suddenly, I got a random idea to search on the IEEEXplore about any AI research that related to audio (other than speech). Surprisingly, I found a 2006 paper called the "Automatic Mood Detection and Tracking of Music Audio Signals." From that moment, I just felt like, "Okay, I think this research is pretty exciting for me!" Then, I decided to work on a topic called Music Emotion Classification for my undergraduate thesis.


How Did I Find The ISMIR Community?

Honestly, I forgot!


But what I remember, this is the chronology:

  1. In 2017, I joined the ISMIR Community Google Group.

  2. Then, there was an announcement called the Women in Music Information Retrieval Mentorship Program for 2018 from the Google Group, and I just applied to the program.

  3. In 2018, I got paired with Doga from Stanford University in the mentorship program. Although I had no idea about this field, this mentorship program helped me a lot to get started in the Music Information Retrieval (MIR).

  4. Doga recommended me to go to the ISMIR Conference 2018 in Paris, but unfortunately, I couldn't go. But at least, I knew that ISMIR is not only a community. They also hold a conference annually, where the students, researchers, and even industries can publish their research papers.


How Did I (Finally) Make It to The ISMIR Conference 2019?

So, I have a funny story regarding the 2019 ISMIR Conference.

In December 2018, after I realized that I couldn't go to the 2018 ISMIR Conference, somehow, I was hoping that I can join the 2019 ISMIR Conference. But, when the 2019 year was starting, I even forgot that I wanted to go to the conference. So, I was only focused on doing my job while working in a company, creating videos, launching Qhansa.Lens Photography and Videography, making music, and many more.

But suddenly, in August 2019, the universe sent me to keep checking the ISMIR Conference 2019 website. And then, I realized that the organizers added one other financial support from the ISMIR Community, called the Community Grants.



The Community Grants were offered to support several individuals who would like to attend ISMIR but who are not in the capacity to participate in the conference actively. For example, this may include:

  • former ISMIR members, who would like to re-engage with the community, but cannot trivially be supported for this given their current roles;

  • students and researchers with concrete potential to become a part of the ISMIR community in the future, but who currently are not in a sufficiently supportive context to act on this yet (e.g., because their institutes do not have clear MIR expertise, or they affiliate to neighboring disciplines, that do not have conference-oriented publishing cultures).


After that, I just submitted the application, motivation letter, and the recommendation letter from Blair *Thank you, Blair! :)


Then in September 2019, I got an email from the local organizer that I received the Community Grants for ISMIR 2019. I was surprised and happy at the same time! Even though it didn't cover all of my expenses, but it helped me a lot to reduce my budget.


So, that's my story!


Important Links and Resources

Now, I'm going to share some of the essential links and resources regarding the ISMIR Conference 2019 that I joined.


1st Workshop on Designing a Human-Centric MIR System (Satellite Event)


2nd Women in MIR Workshop (Satellite Event)


ISMIR 2019 Tutorials

ISMIR Conference 2019 Papers, Presentations, and Posters


I hope this information can be useful and helpful for you!

Don't forget to join the ISMIR Society at http://www.ismir.net/ :)

See you next time!