Musica Automata

Music for Computer Controlled Robots.

Musica Automata is the name of the upcoming album by Leonardo Barbadoro, an Italian electronic music producer and electroacoustic music composer from Florence. He is known also under the alias Koolmorf Widesen. The album will include music for robots controlled from a laptop computer.

These robots are more than 50 acoustic instruments (piano, organs, wind instruments, percussions, etc.) which are part of the Logos Foundation, in Gent (Belgium). They receive digital MIDI messages, that contain precise informations for their performance.

Musica Automata is a multi-sensorial experience where the listener can hear and view where the sounds come from; one can observe the robots and find a precise correlation between the movement of the instruments and the sound perceived.

The robot music performance, due to its extreme precision, can often surpass the ability of a human performer and, therefore, introduce completely new expressive possibilities. However, next to the precise digital controls, the real performance and acoustic sound of instruments, playing in a real acoustic space, is preserved. Despite this particular instrumentation in fact, it’s the music that leads the instruments and not the opposite. The emotional impact of the music is still there due to the versatility of the robots, which are not limited to mere artificial reproduction.

It’s a performance that comes from a human idea, however devoid of direct human contact with the instrument.

This means that the conceived musical idea, once processed and translated into MIDI language, is executed by robots without losing its artistic value in any way.

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Words by EVES
March 29, 2019