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'Meet the ‘Bots': CalArts Unveils New Laboratory for Creation of Robotic Musical Instruments


Pictured:  NotomotoN, a new robotic drum featuring twin drum heads, a metal body, and 18 solenoid beater assemblies.

Click here for NotomotoN video

Learn how sentient machines collaborate with human performers at an open house at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) on Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m.

Valencia, CA, February 7 -- Robots and their creators make beautiful music at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Advancing the possibilities of human computer interactivity, musical director Dr. Ajay Kapur and technical director Michael Darling launched the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra.  These two CalArts faculty members are working with students and prestigious guest artists to develop one-of-a-kind robotic instruments for multimedia performances.

On Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m., the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra will inaugurate the new Machine Lab at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts with an open house and musical demonstration. Meet the ‘Bots will feature the current line-up of robotic instruments and the premiere of NotomotoN—a new percussion robot. The event is free and open to the public. The CalArts campus is located at 24700 McBean Parkway in Valencia, California.  For information call 661.253.7816. 

A preview of music’s future, the The KarmetiK Machine Orchestra joins intriguing technological entertainment with practical applications of cutting edge research.  The orchestra combines robots with human performers using digitally modified instruments and unique musical interfaces to create high-tech interpretations of traditional world music and original experimental compositions.

Commenting on the pioneering science behind the instruments, National Public Radio’s Laura Sydell noted, “Programming machines to make music isn't new; it's been around as long as player pianos have existed. But these robots are different: They've been programmed to improvise.”

Currently, Kapur and Darling are co-teaching the class, Robotic Design for Music & Media Applications—in which students design and build the next generation of robots to be unveiled at a concert extravaganza in May at CalArts.

CalArts is an acclaimed Los Angeles-area institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual and performing arts. The KarmetiK Machine Orchestra is a project of the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence and Design (MTIID) program at the Institute’s Herb Alpert School of Music and the School of Theater’s Technical Direction Program.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE KARMETIK MACHINE ORCHESTRA’S INSTRUMENTS AND PERFORMANCES.
http://calarts.edu/news/office-public-affairs/press-photos

More information and links to press coverage:
KarmetiK Machine Orchestra

http://www.karmetik.com

KarmetiK video trailer
http://vimeo.com/15245959

NotomotoN video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZZXfIdvojk

Wired
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/05/robot-orchestra/

CNET
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20004154-1.html

NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127140593

Machine Orchestra Press Release
http://calarts.edu/news/2010-apr-26/robots-rock-world-music-karmetik-mac...

Last edited by dthatt on Mar 23, 2011
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