Autonomous Robotic Instruments 3
This university project led by Charles Matthews works on the connection of classic traditional serial composition – in this case gamelan music – and robotic Gamelan instruments. The actuators are driven electronically. Charles also developed a software called “Pipilan” which was written in Max/MSP. With this he controls the gamelan Gongs. From our understanding the software is an intelligent system which lets users interact with the robotic instruments by entering single set of notes. These are than merged into a constant gamela-music like flow.
The Augmented Gamelan project was set up to explore the combination of gamelan and electroacoustic music, with a focus on the way the instruments are traditionally played. The sound of this percussion ensemble from Indonesia is broken down, extended and warped through custom software and speakers placed amongst – and sometimes attached to – the instruments. The repertoire is based on traditional material and may be played in a wide range configurations to adapt to the space and context of performance. Many pieces also use traditional vocals including macapat (Javanese sung poetry).
The Music Construction Machine is a large, public, generative music box, which people can operate via a big hand crank. Rotating the crank moves various mechanisms inside the giant box, producing ever-changing melodies and rhythmic patterns, played with an electric guitar, a keyboard and a drum set. As the machine is contained in a transparent glass pavillon, people can observe and contemplate on its inner workings while cranking.
What it does? Basically:
Navigate around, collect some data, avoid obstacles, until it finds something “worth playing on” (a single isolated object or a wide flat surface that it can find an angle onto)
Snakes into place
Plays some beats on what it have found, and samples this, checking it has a “good sound”
Based on data collected in the area, and sample just made, then compose a little rhythm, and plays this along with the sample