“The first law of musical robotics: rock hard.
We’ve seen plenty of robotic musical experiments, but finding a robot that can seriously shred is another matter altogether. Meet the robotic string instrument, Poly-tangent, Automatic (multi-) Monochord – let’s just call her PAM. Built by Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a group of University of Virginia PhD students and composers, PAM is capable of creating raucous musical performances”
-Peter Kirn, Create Digital Music:
“EMMI seems to be about pushing the boundaries of what music we can make when we extend ourselves through robotic instruments. When I see PAM shredding, or MADI pounding a beat it would take humans on several instruments to replicate, I envision a new generation of robotic-acoustic devices whose very nature includes mechanical performers. Just as portable synthesizers changed the realm of what was possible in the 70s, these robot instruments could open up whole new fields of music in the 21st century.”
“A rowdy band of DIY tinkerers who call themselves EMMI (Expressive Machines Musical Instruments), they’re designing, building, and composing music for a miniature army of handmade musical machines. Woah!”
“Everyone loves musical robots it seems. There’s Bjork, who is currently touring with some custom-designed bots for her Biophilia project, there’s the robot band The Bit-52s, and there’s also Troy Rogers, Scott Barton, and Steven Kemper, who created three mechanoid instruments using applied their knowledge of robotics and acoustics. Collectively known as Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI), they are seeking to unite art and science, man and robot. Positing a future where man and machine can play music side-by-side, jamming together in harmony to produce the blissful sounds of man/machine unity. But a noisy kind of unity, the sort that Luigi Russolo might’ve been into.”