The KarmetiK Machine Orchestra at REDCAT

The KarmetiK Machine Orchestra, under the direction of music faculty Ajay Kapur, brings together custom-built robotic musical instruments and human performers with modified instruments for a true 21st century concert at REDCAT Wednesday (Jan. 27) during the SCREAM (Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music) Festival.

The evening blends elements of music, technology and theater and includes guest artists Curtis Bahn, vocal synthesizer Perry Cook, CalArts faculty members Ustad Aashish Khan, a North Indian sarodist, and I Nyoman Wenten, a Balinese gamelan master, as well as innovators from the CalArts Music Technology Program.

And we can’t forget about the machines–robots, really–that will also take center stage. The concert has already created a buzz within the tech community.

From TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog):

Electronic music is computer-based by its very definition. The audience can’t see the instruments used to create the original sound. What’s so cool about The Machine Orchestra is that it allows for the creation of electronic music using actual instruments controlled via Macs, all in front of a live audience.

On the robot front you’ve got three stars: GanaPatiBot – a drum robot with multiple solenoid systems for striking. The back of GanaPatiBot is a “propeller Leslie system”, where two speakers are placed at either side of a spinning bar, which plays sounds and drones from an iPod Mini. MahaDeviBot is another drum robot with the ability to strike 12 different percussion instruments gathered from around India, including frame drums, bells, finger cymbals, wood blocks, and gongs. MahaDeviBot even has bouncing head which can portray tempo to the human. Last but not least is (the simply-named) Tammy. Standing at six feet tall, Tammy plays instruments including the hand-crafted marimba, drone string, and bells.

Kapur explains more about the Machine Orchestra in the video posted above.

SCREAM Festival
Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 8:30 pm
Tickets: $20, $16 for students and $10 for CalArts students, faculty and staff

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