Meet the ‘Bots Open House

KarmetiK at REDCAT

KarmetiK during a performance at REDCAT last year.

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The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts welcomes the latest ‘musician’ to the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra at the Meet the ‘Bots open house at CalArts on Thursday evening. The event serves as a coming out of sorts for NotomotoN—a new percussion robot designed, built and developed by CalArts students and faculty—and reintroduces the orchestra’s older machines, which have been completely revamped.

The open house also inaugurates the new Machine Lab at CalArts with demos and performances by KarmetiK players, and guests having the chance for hands-on interaction with the robots.

KarmetiK, a think tank of artists, designers and engineers at CalArts, explores the relationships among the fields of music, visual arts and technology; the ensemble combines the use of hardware and software and human and artificial intelligence to create works of digital music and art.

Dr. Ajay Kapur, director of Music Technology program at CalArts, and Michael Darling, head of Technical Direction in the School of Theater, currently co-teach the class, Robotic Design for Music & Media Applications, in which students design and build the next generation of robots.

The custom-built robots are programmed to both play with, and improvise against, their human counterparts. The machines use data from sensors to interpret gestures made by human performers who play modified instruments in the orchestra.

KarmetiK updates traditional world music for the 21st century, with music that’s both visually and sonically appealing, as demonstrated in the video below, filmed during a live performance at REDCAT last year:

There will be a full performance of the Machine Orchestra in the MOD Theater at CalArts on May 12.

For additional information on the Machine Orchestra, please read, “Musical Minds Meet Musical Machines” from CalArts magazine.

Meet the ‘Bots of the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra
Machine Lab (B-214)
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts
Thursday, March 10
8-10 pm

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