Warp Records has announced a new EP, composed by Squarepusher and performed by three music robots (the Z-Machines) will be released on 7th April (8th in North America).
Here’s what Squarepusher has to say about the project:
The main question I’ve tried to answer is ‘can these robots play music that is emotionally engaging?’
I have long admired the player piano works of Conlon Nancarrow and Gyorgy Ligeti. Part of the appeal of that music has to do with hearing a familiar instrument being ‘played’ in an unfamiliar fashion. For me there has always been something fascinating about the encounter of the unfamiliar with the familiar. I have long been an advocate of taking fresh approaches to existing instrumentation as much as I am an advocate of trying to develop new instruments, and being able to rethink the way in which, for example, an electric guitar can be used is very exciting.
Each of the robotic devices involved in the performance of this music has its own specification which permits certain possibilities and excludes others – the robot guitar player for example can play much faster than a human ever could, but there is no amplitude control. In the same way that you do when you write music for a human performer, these attributes have to be borne in mind – and a particular range of musical possibilities corresponds to those attributes. Consequently, in this project familiar instruments are used in ways which till now have been impossible.
This video, via roboband, demonstrates a custom system that allows for Nintendo gameplay audio to be automatically performed on an acoustic player piano and robotically controlled percussive instruments.
The piano and percussion play live during actual gameplay, mirroring the sounds that would normally be created electronically.
All audio, including music and sound effects, is translated in realtime so that it is produced by the instrument most closely resembling the characteristics of the original electronic sound. Continue reading
NakagawaGakki‘s Lunetta Guitar is a modular controlled ‘semi-acoustic’ robotic synth guitar, designed to integrate with other modular gear.
Here’s what NakagawaGakki has to say about the Lunetta Guitar: Continue reading
This video demos a robo-xylophone music robot, built with the Makeblock robot building system. Continue reading
Here’s a ‘live’ music robot jam by the Toa Mata Band, Episode2.
Technical details below. Continue reading
Jack Conte’s song Pedals is an ode to effects. That’s pretty cool – but his hexapod robot that plays the Novation LaunchPad is even cooler.
Hexapod Built and Programmed by Matt Bunting. Animatronic Head Built and Programmed by Kevin Felstead.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the video: Continue reading
Remember Patrick Flanagan & Jazari – his band of electroacoustic music robots?
This video takes a look at his DIY MIDI controller, the Meganome.
“I like the feel of arcade buttons and look of exotic hardwoods,” notes Flanagan, “so mass-market products just weren’t right for me.” Continue reading
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.” Continue reading