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STEIM Events | STEIM Events Archive 2019

12 April 2011 | 20:30 hrs | Lecture/Demonstration | Free

Hotpot Lab #15
Expressive Machines Musical Instruments & Next Nature

- Presentation by Troy Rogers, Scott Barton and Steven Kemper of  EMMI
- Presentation by Koert Mensvoort from Next Nature Lab


Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI)
Composers Troy Rogers, Scott Barton and Steven Kemper founded Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI) in 2007, with the goal of creating innovative music for custom-designed robotic musical instruments. EMMI's instruments and music develop synergistically, taking advantage of the unique capabilities of computer controlled mechanical actuators that manipulate acoustic sound sources. The group's initial activities resulted in the development of three robotic musical instruments. PAM is an automated monochord with discrete tangents that can be positioned to play in nearly any tuning system. MADI is an automated snare drum with 15 arms that play from center to rim with a variety of beater types. CADI is a modular, reconfigurable automated percussion ensemble.

A commission from saxophonist Michael Straus and bassoonist Dana Jessen of EAR Duo led to the creation of the group's newest robotic instrument, MARIE (Monochord Aerophone Robotic Instrument Ensemble). MARIE represents EMMI's most advanced design to date. Made up of automated monochords and cylindrical aerophones, this robotic ensemble takes the concepts of a modular synthesizer and applies them to mechanically manipulated acoustic sources and filters. The instrument is portable and road ready, and is designed to appeal to adventurous musicians performing in a variety of genres.  

Through the lens of their own work, EMMI's talk will address robotic instrument design, machine aesthetics, collaborative composition, and related topics.

Koert van Mensvoort
Dr. Koert van Mensvoort MFA MSc (1974) is fascinated by the idea that people, in their attempts to cultivate nature, cause the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. All of his activities revolve around the exploration of this nature caused by people.
Among his works are the Datafountain (an internet enabled water fountain connected to money currency rates), the documentary ‘Daddy! The Woods smell of Shampoo’, the Fake for Real memory game (on the tensed relation between reality and simulation), the NANO Supermarket (a shop containing speculative nanotechnology products) and the ‘Biggest Visual Power Show’, an intellectual spectacle held in Amsterdam (NL), Zollverein (DE) and Los Angeles (USA).
Van Mensvoort is (co) author of numerous books and publications; among them Next Nature, Visual Power, What You See Is What You Feel, Natuur 2.0, Entry Paradise – New Worlds of Design, Everyone is a Designer, Artvertising, and Style First.
Furthermore he is the director of the Next Nature Institute in Amsterdam, initiator of the Next Nature Lab at the Industrial Design Department of the Eindhoven University of Technology and editor of the well visited website


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