curators / performers

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With gamut inc Marion Wörle and Maciej Sledziecki are exploring the interaction of electronic and instrumental music. The interdisciplinary ensemble consists of a growing number of autonomous music robots as well as humanoid collaborators. gamut inc performed at various festival for new- and electronic music in Europe, and is creating music-theatre productions as well as music for film and radioproductions.
www.gamut-ensemble.de
www.satelita.de
 
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Hacklander \ Hatam is the percussion + electronic music duo of Colin Hacklander & Farahnaz Hatam. Interested in transparency, liberation, rhythmic stability & its absence, the depth of radical material heteronomy in contemporary capitalism & the nature of our mobilised conditioning; sound as sculptural material; sound as a medium in which ideas are communicated; digital sound synthesis with SuperCollider; drums, percussion & gongs.
hacklander-hatam.com
www.nkprojekt.de

machine-ensembles / performers

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The founders of the Logos Foundation, Godfried-Willem Raes and Moniek Darge, have been active in new music since 1968. Logos is home to the Robot Orchestra, the largest fully automated acoustic orchestra in the world. As well as playing written compositions, the robots can interact with performers using gesture recognition technology, to create music in real time. The logos foundation hosts concerts by visiting innovative artists from around the world in a specially designed Tetrahedron and produce other projects, audio art installations. Logos also has an extensive archive and documentation centre as well as a workshop for instrument building and an electronics research lab.
www.logosfoundation.org
 
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Roland Olbeter / Urbez Capablo
Roland Olbeter (Hannover, Germany) Scenographer and rob art. Lives and works in Barcelona since 1986. Formally trained as a concert violinist and naval constructor, has worked extensively for the theatre, the opera, as well as for sound and movement installations. His work has a technical sophistication most uncommon in the visual art and theatre. 
Urbez Capablo (Zaragoza, Spain) Freelance musician and programmer settled in Barcelona. Graduated in piano performance and contemporary soloist repertoire, with a postgraduate diploma in sonology and master in sound and music computing (MTG-UPF). His main interest and work field are the fusion between computation and music and it’s integration with new technologies. 
https://vimeo.com/144563245
www.olbeter.com
 
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Nicolas Bernier´s frequencies (a) is the first piece of a series of works, installations and performances, created around  the relationship between the basics of sound, light and science , frequencies (a) is a live performance combining the sound of mechanically triggered tuning forks with pure digital soundwaves. Nicolas Bernier  is triggering sequences from his computer, activating solenoides that hits the tuning forks with high precision. Streams of light burst in synchronicity with the forks, creating a not-quite-minimal sound and light composition. Nicolas Bernier was awarded with this work of the PrixArs Electronica 2013 Golden Nica in Digital Musics and Sound Art.

This presentation is made possible with the support of Canada Council for the Arts.

www.nicolasbernier.com
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Bryan Jacobs - composer, performer, and sound artist, his work focuses on interactions between live performers, mechanical instruments and computers. His pieces are often theatrical in nature, pitting blabber-mouthed fanciful showoffs against timid reluctants. The sounds are playfully organized and many times mimic patterns found in human dialogue. Hand-build electromechanical instruments controlled by microcontrollers bridge acoustic and electroacoutic sound worlds. These instruments live dual lives as time-based concert works and non-time-based gallery works.
www.bryanjacobsmusic.com
 
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Pierre Bastien post-graduated in eighteenth-century French literature at University Paris-Sorbonne. In 1977 he built his first musical machinery. For the next ten years he has been composing for dance companies and playing with Pascal Comelade. In the meantime he was constantly developing his mechanical orchestra. Since 1987 he concentrates on it through solo performances, sound installations, recordings and collaborations with such artists as Pierrick Sorin, Karel Doing, Jean Weinfeld, Robert Wyatt or Issey Miyake.
www.pierrebastien.com
 
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Well known for their drum robot "MR-808", Sonic Robots present an new performance: they explore the in-between of robotic noisery, the inner sound of mechanics - and live robotic bass music. The music robots used in this performance consists of recycled and 3D-printed parts such as harddisks, relays, tongues, motors and solenoids. The performance was developed with the help of electronica pioneers "Mouse On Mars" and is visually accompanied by an VJ-setup.
sonicrobots.com
 

composers / performers

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Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris. He was the founder of the music program at The Kitchen in downtown Manhattan in 1971 and was its music director between 1971-73 and 1977-80. Rhys Chatham altered the DNA of rock and created a new type of urban music by fusing the overtone-drenched minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with the relentless, elemental fury of the Ramones—the textural intricacies of the avant-garde colliding with the visceral punch of electric guitar-slinging punk rock.
www.rhyschatham.net

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Okkyung Lee is a New York-based artist and South Korea native, has created a body of work blurring genre boundaries through collaborations and compositions while pushing the limitation of contemporary cello performance techniques. Her music draws from noise and extended techniques, jazz, Western classical, and Korean traditional and popular music.
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Marcus Schmickler has written numerous pieces for electronic music, chamber ensemble, choir and orchestra, which have been premiered by renowned ensembles and musicicans. Next to his musical work, he has also worked on installations and radioplays as well as collaborating vastly in the field of theatre and film. Lately, he has been interested in the epistemic dimensions of music/sound.
piethopraxis.org
 
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Hildur Guðnadóttir is an Icelandic cello player, composer and singer who has been manifesting herself at the forefront of experimental pop and contemporary music (e.g. with the band múm). In her solo works she draws out a broad spectrum of sounds from her instrument, ranging from intimate simplicity to huge soundscapes.
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Piotr Kurek is a Warsaw based musician known from his numerous aliases; albums released for Digitalis, Crónica, Sangloplasmo, Dunno Recordings; collaborations and rather peculiar DJ sets. From his usage of tape and organ patterns to synthesizers and loosely improvised guitars, he firmly established himself as one of the most diverse Polish musicians with an entirely unique approach.
piotrkurek.bandcamp.com
 

installation / reading

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Jens Maria Weber is a designer, graphic artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator. Reared in the west german industrial towns of the seventies. Studied english and german literature at the Ruhruniversität Bochum, and Design at the FH Dortmund. After the diploma he worked as a designer in Hamburg and changed to freelancing in 2001, specializing in design and illustration.
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Michele Pedrazzi is a media artist and musician born in Verona, Italy, now based in Berlin. He has done sound installations, worked for theater projects and game art and as media designer. His CICADAS are tiny robotic insects, programmed to chant and sing like a swarm of cicadas. Their sound is a nostalgic, nerdy recreation of a Mediterranean summer soundscape, celebrated as an amazing natural wonder, but also as a fabulous diffused granular synthesizer. As soon the Cicadas sing, they start interacting with the ambient they're in. In a quiet and empty room the sound installation will turn the focus on itself, thus emphasizing its metaphoric message. But in an open, livelier soundscape, the insects will just join in, lost in the millions of sonic events created by man and nature. 
www.bobmeanza.net

 

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Gerhard Kern, born 1945, precision mechanic, draftsman, social worker, supervisor and organisation adviser, artistic projects. Lives and works in Kerpen-Buir, west of Cologne. 1979 first contact with Carl Frei, the doyen of barrel-organ construction, later many visits and workshops at his workshop in Waldkirch. Since 1990 close collaboration with Frederic Keller. He specializes in automated instruments - mechanic, pneumatic, electro-mechanic, electronical cont- rolled with natural soundsources like organ-pipes, tubes, strings, claves... His soundsculptures find growing use in concerts, performance and installations. gamut inc´s automate are build in cooperation with Gerhard Kern.
www.musikmechaniker.blogspot.de

 

theory

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Leslie Dunton-Downer is a writer whose works include books and essays, documentary films, pieces for stage, and texts for composers. She produced acclaimed recordings of music from the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan for the French label Buda Musique, and is a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Martin Burckhardt born 1957, author and cultural theoretician, lives in Berlin. He wrote diverse books on the genealogy of the machine. Recent releases include: »Wie die Philosophie die Welt erfand« (DuMont, 2014), »Digitale Renaissance. Manifest für eine neue Welt« (Metrolit, 2014), the novel »Score« (Knaus, 2015) as well as »Alles und Nichts. Ein Pandämonium digitaler Weltvernichtung« (together with Dirk Höfer, Matthes & Seitz 2015).
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The word “robot” first appeared in 1920, in Karel Čapek's play "Rossum's Universal Robots". Yet no matter what they are called, whether it’s robot, golem, android, transformer or machine, they have long inspired the human imagination. Robots have kept their appeal as objects for the projection of ideas and for speculation. More and more scientific disciplines are involved in robotics, in particular mechatronics (mechanics, electrical engineering and computer science) and Artificial Intelligence. These days, hardly anyone is surprised to find hemispherical robots rolling around the entrance areas of large electronics stores. The robot of today is a machine for fulfilling wishes: it vacuums the floor, mows the lawn, soon it will drive the car – and it makes music. Since the early 2000s, research groups have emerged worldwide who make robotics available for music production.  The most varied of approaches can be found here, both technically and artistically. From the show-oriented robot rock band, to highly differentiated church organ and piano machines, to specialized sound machines: everything is represented. Artists like Björk and Aphex Twin have had musical machines built specifically for their productions. Old piano-roll systems and recordings are being rescanned to precisely recreate legendary piano recordings by Glen Gould or Jelly Roll Morton on today's precision piano robots and thereby bring the performers back to life.

Of course, we will see music robots live on stage during the three-day convention & concert program, WIR SIND DIE ROBOTER (WE ARE THE ROBOTS), is a production of Gamut Inc in co-operation with NK Projekt in Berlin. This will include the large robot orchestra LOGOS FOUNDATION GENT, an ensemble that includes every conceivable musical machine, and which makes the heart of any retro-futurist beat faster. The Logos Foundation in an ideal example of the artistic value of mechanically-produced music. The musical machines of the ensemble can play what is beyond human capabilities. In a sense, they can play the unplayable. The doyen PIERRE BASTIEN takes a different approach: his mechanical installations inspire through their simplicity. Bastien makes his constructions play uplifting music, within which he intervenes musically, himself becoming a part of the apparatus during the performance. With the program "Avant Avantgarde" the Berlin duo GAMUT INC used amazing music robots to bring centuries-old scores to life. In concert, Marion Wörle and Maciej Sledziecki convincingly prove what sensitive concert music can be played with machines. The music machines of ROLAND OLBETER are not a collection of isolated devices: they are organisms with parts that are interlinked and can only function as a whole.  Composers are invited to create new musical pieces for the Logos & Olbeter machines, including:  gamut Inc, Markus Schmickler, Zeena Parkins, Okkyung Lee and Hacklander \ Hatam.

In addition to concerts, a supporting program will further examine the topic of machine music. The authors Martin Burckhardt and Jens Maria Weber will participate in two midnight talks to discuss the philosophical and technical implications of machine music.

Music robots are computer controlled, yet they produce sounds by analog means. Metal pins pluck strings, movable modules runs along a piano keyboard, mechanical arms press the keys or beat the drums. As for the appearance and functions of music-making robots, there are hardly any limits placed on the imagination. They can take on a humanoid form or be reduced only to the components necessary for their actions. Many a music robot, much like his colleagues in industry and research, is little more than a cylinder or a hinged bracket.

The combination of "natural" sound and programmability provides new opportunities for instrumental music, for example, concerning tempos, event density or performance techniques. Fluid transitions between sound, noise and rhythmic pulses can be implemented accurately. Music robots close the gap, so to speak, between acoustic and electronic music. At the same time, these often idiosyncratic constructions have a visual appeal that makes concerts or installations into very special experiences.

WIR SIND DIE ROBOTER

three days of robot music

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CONCERTS INSTALLATIONS LECTURES READINGS TALKS

WIR SIND DIE ROBOTER
29.09. - 01.10.2016
Musikbrauerei
Greifswalder Str. 23A
10405 Berlin

entrance 14,-€ per night (10€ with discount)
festivalpass for all three nights 35€
only abendkasse - for reservations please mail to info[at]satelita[dot]de

visit us also on facebook

Since the AVANT AVANTGARDE festival in 2011, we’ve been building music-machines and performing them live in our ensemble, gamut inc.  Since then we´ve also been dreaming of contextualizing vivid, yet separate, scenes of machine -builders in the real world. We´re very happy and proud to present together with our friends & co-curators from N.K. Projekt the WIR SIND DIE ROBOTER festival.
 
For three days, the machines will take over the Musikbrauerei Berlin - an old brewery in Prenzlauer Berg, and one of the last buildings in the area that remains in its original state. We’ve invited some of the most advanced robot ensembles—both technically & artistically— as well as performers who work with automated music-machines from around the globe. To explore the possibilities of robot-music from various artistic angles, we´ve invited composers to write new music for these machines.  Additionally, there will be talks, readings, lectures, and an installation in the Musikbrauerei’s cellar, all framing the topic of music-machines / robot-music.

Maciej Sledziecki and Marion Wörle

a gamut inc production in collaboration with N.K. Projekt


PROGRAM:

doors open 19:00, concerts start 20:00 

THURSDAY SEP 29 

Conlon Nancarrow studies for player piano 
Nicolas Bernier transfer for piano (premiere)
Kristof Lauwers study #16 for HYBR
Hacklander\Hatam enlistment as enlightenment (premiere)
for TROMS, TEMBLO, PSCH, Drums, Gongs & SuperCollider 
Bryan Jacobs percussion + guitar 
for 2 computer-controlled flutes   
Marcus Schmickler ATA OTO (premiere)

for TEMBLO, TINTI & sine tones 
midnight lecture with Martin Burckhardt The Virtuoso is dead! Virtuality lives! 

FRIDAY SEP 30
Piotr Kurek 12 pieces for Olbeter’s machines (premiere)
for soundclusters & pollywogs
Rhys Chatham Tzadkiel’s Tale (premiere)
for soundclusters & pollywogs, Bb trumpet, alto, bass and C flutes and electric guitar
gamut inc Planet Nine (premiere)
for ASA, FA, HELI, HYBR, KLAR, SO
Okkyung Lee SoomNoRae (premiere)
for TROMS, PSCH, TEMBLO & CELLO
midnight lecture and talk with Leslie Dunton-Downer Riffs on Robot

SATURDAY OCT 01
Nicolas Bernier frequencies (a)
Hildur Guðnadóttir na (premiere)
for Soundclusters & Pollywogs
reading by Jens Maria Weber Codex Roboticus
gamut inc machina
for gamut inc ́s automata
Pierre Bastien quiet motors
and African harp kundi, prepared trutmpet, home made rabab and nail violin
Sonic Robots Tripods One

EXHIBITIONS & INSTALLATIONS (during all three days)

Jens Maria Weber sphinxs and other sculptures

Michele Pedrazzi Cicadas

Bryan Jacobs Flute/Compressor

Gerhard Kern Vexation Carillon 

DADAMachines hands-on robotic do-it-yourself table

confirmed artists:

Logos Foundation BE/Gent, Roland Olbeter ES/Barcelona, gamut inc PL/D/Berlin, Hacklander\Hatam US/IR/Berlin, Bryan Jacobs US/New York, Sonic Robots D/Dresden, Pierre Bastien FR/Paris, Nicolas Bernier CAN/Montreal, Marcus Schmickler D/Köln, Okkyung Lee US/New York, Rhys Chatham F/Paris, Piotr Kurek PL/Warschau, Martin Burkhardt, D/Berlin Jens Maria Weber D/Duisburg, Gerhard Kern/D, Leslie Dunton-Downer US/Berlin, Michele Pedrazzi IT/Berlin

Das Wort Roboter taucht zwar erst 1920 zum ersten Mal in Karel Čapek´s Schauspiel „Rossums Universal-Robots“ auf - doch wie sie auch genannt werden, ob Roboter, Golem, Androiden, Transformers oder Automaten, sie beflügeln die menschliche Phantasie seit langem. Roboter haben ihren Reiz als Projektionsflächen für Ideen und Spekulationen nie verloren. Immer mehr wissenschaftliche Disziplinen werden in die Robotik eingebunden, im speziellen Mechatronik (Mechanik, Elektrotechnik und Informatik) und Künstliche Intelligenz. Inzwischen wundert sich niemand mehr, wenn halbkugelförmige Roboter in den Eingangsbereichen großer Elektronikkaufhäuser herum fahren. Der Roboter von heute ist eine Wunscherfüllungsmaschine, die staubsaugt, Rasen mäht, bald wohl Auto fährt und - musiziert. Seit den Nuller Jahren sind weltweit Arbeitsgruppen entstanden, die sich die Robotik zur Musikproduktion nutzbar machen.
Dabei gibt es sowohl technisch als auch künstlerisch die unterschiedlichsten Ansätze. Von der showorientierten Roboterrockband, über höchst differenzierte Kirchenorgel- und Klavierautomaten, bis zu spezialisierten Geräuschmaschinen ist alles vertreten. Künstler wie Björk oder Aphex Twin ließen sich eigens Musikapparate für Ihre Produktionen herstellen. Alte Lochkartensysteme und Schallplattenaufnahmen werden neu gescannt, um legendäre Pianoaufnahmen von Glen Gould oder Jelly Roll Morton exakt auf heutigen Präzisionsklavier-Robotern wiederzugeben und die Interpreten so zu reanimieren.
Natürlich werden wir im Rahmen der dreitägigen Convention Musikroboter live on stage erleben, WIR SIND DIE ROBOTER ist eine Produktion von gamut inc in Zusammenarbeit mit NK Project. Da wäre zum einen das große Roboterorchester der LOGOS FOUNDATION GENT, ein Klangkörper aus allen nur erdenklichen Musikmaschinen, der die Herzen aller Retro-Futuristen höher schlagen lässt. Am Beispiel der Logos Foundation lässt sich der künstlerische Mehrwert maschinell erzeugter Musik gut auf den Punkt bringen. Denn die musikalischen Apparate des Ensembles gehen spielerisch über das dem Menschen Mögliche hinaus, sie spielen gewissermaßen das Unspielbare. Einen anderen Ansatz verfolgt Altmeister PIERRE BASTIEN, dessen mechanische Installationen durch ihre Einfachheit begeistern. Bastien lässt seine Konstruktionen beglückende Musik spielen, während er selbst musikalisch eingreift, also während der Performance zu einem Teil der Apparatur wird. Mit seinem Programm „Avant Avantgarde“ erweckte das Berliner Duo GAMUT INC erstaunliche Musikroboter anhand Jahrhunderte alter Vorlagen zum Leben. Im Konzert beweisen Marion Wörle und Maciej Sledziecki stets, welche feinfühlig-konzertante Musik sich mit Maschinen spielen lässt. Die Musikmaschinen von ROLAND OLBETER sind keine Ansammlung isolierter Apparate. Sie sind Organismen, deren Teile ineinander greifen und nur als Ganzes funktionieren. Komponisten werden beauftragt neue Stücke für die Automaten und Musikroboter zu schreiben.
Neben den Konzerten wird ein Rahmenprogramm das Thema Maschinenmusik weiter vertiefen. Die Autoren Martin Burckhardt und Jens Maria Weber kommen in zwei Mitternachtsgesprächen zu Wort, um die philosophischen und technischen Implikationen von Maschinenmusik zu erörtern.
Musikroboter sind zwar computergesteuert, erzeugen die Klänge aber auf analogem Weg. Metallstifte zupfen an Saiten, bewegliche Module fahren eine Klaviertastatur entlang, mechanische Arme drücken die Tasten oder schlagen die Trommel. Was Aussehen und Funktionsweisen musizierender Roboter angeht, sind der Fantasie kaum Grenzen gesetzt. Sie können humanoider Gestalt oder aber auf die für ihr Tun notwendigen Bauteile beschränkt sein. Manch ein Musikroboter besteht, wie seine Kollegen in Industrie und Forschung, aus kaum mehr als einer Walze oder einem Gelenkarm.
Die Verbindung von „natürlichem“ Klang und Programmierbarkeit bietet neue Möglichkeiten für die Instrumentalmusik, zum Beispiel was Tempi, Ereignisdichte und Spieltechniken angeht. Gleitende Übergänge zwischen Ton, Geräusch und rhythmischen Impulsen können präzise realisiert werden. Musikroboter schließen sozusagen die Lücke zwischen akustischer und elektronischer Musik. Gleichzeitig haben diese oft eigenwilligen Konstruktionen einen optischen Reiz, der die Konzerte oder auch Installation zu sehr besonderen Erlebnissen macht.

Anfahrt / venue:

Pressearbeit / press contact:
Guido Möbius / autopilot
guido[at]autopilotmusic[dot]com

Produktion:
satelita Musikverlag
Zehdenicker Strasse 25
10119 Berlin
030 / 68009912
info[at]satelita[dot]de

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