By Eileen Gutierrez |Staff Writer|
The live music industry may be in the middle of a robotic invasion.
It is now possible to go to a music concert where robots, instead of humans, perform and rock out with the crowd, but robots do. This new form of entertainment is made possible through a combination of robotics, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and embedded computing.
The California Institute of the Arts has created a vision called KarmetiK, which may completely change how we look at music. The endeavor is a mix between watching a deejay spin on the tables on one side of the stage, while right below are musical instruments drumming along at their own pace.
KarmetiK, a combination of the words ‘karma’ and ‘kinetic’, is lead by Dr. Ajay Kapur and consists of a small group of scholars whose aim is to push the technology and musical barriers. Lab members include artists, local and global musicians and consulting clients.
According to karmetik.com, The Machine Orchestra, “…brings together custom-built robotic musical instruments and human performers with modified instruments, unique musical interfaces, and hemispherical speaker-pods,”
Members of the band bring their own background and musical infusion to the band. As they create the beats, the machine-robots glide along to the created beats.
Kapur, the KarmetiK director, is also the director of the Music Technology program at CalArts. He is also instructor of Sonic Arts at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University in Wellington.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Kapur credits German-American musician Trimpin as being the “godfather” of the project. Trimpin and Eric Singer, director of the New York-based League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots are credited as his influences.
The lab is also in the process in creating programs for Windows, Apple’s iPhone, and the Google Android.