About

Hello! I’m Brian. I’m a scientist (machine learning, music understanding, recommendation, information retrieval) and a startup person. I was the co-founder & CTO of the Echo Nest, sold to Spotify, where I was Principal Scientist for a few years until 2016, mostly focusing on discovery of brand new music. I was then founder & CEO of Canopy, focusing on privacy and personalization. Canopy was acquired by CNN in March 2020; I’m currently helping out there on some exciting brand new bets around news personalization and creators.

I was an artist / musician (ex-“Blitter“) from the late 90s through mid-00s, I still work on small music projects from time to time.

I work on many hardware side projects, mostly centered around audio, speech and machine learning. I am currently developing a distributed mesh music synthesizer and a portable creative computing platform.

I received a masters degree in computer science focusing on natural language processing from Columbia University in 2000, then a PhD in machine learning and music understanding at the MIT Media Lab in 2005.

I live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Quadra Island, BC, Canada.

You can reach me over email — brian@variogr.am

You can also follow me on Twitter. (But I’m currently on a long, and highly recommended break from all social media, apologies!)