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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Automatic Orchestra - Music Through Algorithms

Automatic Orchestra imageElectronic music has been with us for 60 years or so but there was always a human in control. That's no longer the case, as the human musicians are replaced in a configuration called the Automatic Orchestra.

The Automatic Orchestra was designed by a group of students from the University of the Arts in Bremen and the Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design, and consists of 12 pods, each with a microcontroller that's attached to speakers. All of the pods are connected with one another and data is transferred between them.

What you'll hear below starts out with Pod #1 originating the algorithm and then passing the data on to Pod #2, which then adds its own data and passes it to Pod #3, and so on.

While that might seem a bit too mathematical to some, there is an element of improvisation that's programmed in, so some pods actually introduce a measure of unpredictability, almost like a human would.

Check it out below. What's especially interesting is the dynamics of the piece.

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