Free Music Friday: Patrick Flanagan, band leader of the mostly robot band Jazari, let us know that he’s released a new EP, The Human Element, that’s available as a free download. Flanagan leads and controls Jazari, but his ‘bandmates’ are electroacoustic music robots.
According to Flanagan, The Human Element “synthesizes three years of research into the possibilities of musical human-machine interaction.” The music on Jazari’s debut EP melds custom code, music robots, live performance and vocal effect processing via Flanagan’s iOS app, Vio.
Here’s a video preview of Jazari and its music:
“This band is an argument that there is a lot of new territory left to explore,” says Flanagan. “By building physical drum machines and writing my own software, I can recover the subtle variations of live drums while transforming their sounds into different dimensions.”
Here’s some background on Jazari and Flanagan’s instruments.
The custom-built “Meganome” controller Flanagan uses to play drums synths is inspired by the monome and classic drum machines. It consists of 84 square, illuminated arcade buttons, an XY joystick, two ebony pressure pads, a proximity sensor, and two endless encoders. The case is made from purpleheart and curly maple and the unit weighs in around 25 pounds.
Flanagan also developed the audio engine behind the voice morphing iOS app Vio. Flanagan uses Vio’s psychedelic vocal transformations extensively on The Human Element, morphing his voice to sound like a synthesizer on 8 Bit Mission and an ethereal alien tenor on Meteor Shower.
You can download The Human Element at the Jazari Bandcamp page.