Robot Band with Gestural Controller

Music Robotics

Patrick Flanagan of Minneapolis, MN, wrote in with his excellent robot ‘percussion ensemble’.

[I serve] as the token human in cyborg percussion ensemble Jazari, which fuses African rhythms, algorithmic composition, computer music, and electro-mechanics into beat-driven steamfunk. Besides percussion music, Jazari is influenced by funk, house, drum n bass, jazz, academic computer music, and spectral composition. Equally influential is the technology itself. Much of what I do in Jazari arises from explorations of what is possible and idiomatic with the machines and software that I’ve created.

The idea for a musical controller made of springbok horns and arcade buttons grew out of a desire to overcome some of the limitations of the Wiimote while preserving its gestural sensing capabilities. A Wiimote, which is what I used prior to building the springbok device, monopolizes three fingers just to hold the controller. I imagined that a gestural controller that allows all five digits to float over an array of buttons would allow for more buttons and greater virtuosity. After some experimentation, I came up with a cross between a monome, a Wiimote, and horns. So why horns? Why not horns?

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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