EMMI: Expressive Machines Musical Instruments


Scott Barton

Scott Barton is an Assistant Professor of Music at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who composes, performs, and produces (electro)(acoustic) music.  His interests include: rhythmic complexity, auditory and temporal perception, musical robotic instrument design, human-robot interaction in composition and performance, audio engineering and rock music.  As a researcher and programmer, he collaborates with Michael Kubovy and the Kubovy Perception Lab on psychological experiments that involve rhythm perception.  His dissertation explores the cognitive and contextual inputs to musical discontinuity perception.  He co-founded Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI), a collective focused on designing and building robotic musical instruments.  He studied music and philosophy at Colgate University, received his Master of Music in Composition from the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and completed his Ph.D. in the composition and computer technologies program at the University of Virginia.  scottbarton.info

Steven Kemper


Steven Kemper’s research in music technology includes both the development of musical performance systems and compositions for those systems. In addition to being a co-founder of EMMI,  he is also a co-founder of Movable Parts and the creator, along with composer and dancer Aurie Hsu, of the Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing (RAKS) System, a wireless sensor interface designed for interactive belly dance. Steven composes music for acoustic instruments, instruments and computers, dance, video, and networked systems. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in music composition and computer technologies, and is currently Assistant Professor of Music Technology in the music department at the Mason Gross School of the arts at Rutgers University.

Troy Rogers

[Photo credit: Wendy Hsu] Robot Rickshaw on the streets of Los Angeles

Troy Rogers is a composer, instrument builder, and educator whose work often finds itself at various intersections of art and technology. For more than ten years, the predominant locus of his artistic output has been the development of robotic musical instruments and the production of music for these novel devices. In this creative work, the two primary aspects of the process–design and fabrication on the one hand, and musical exploration on the other–are tightly coupled in an iterative loop in which the compositional act begins with the conception of each new instrument and the personality of each device becomes understood and elaborated through musical play, in turn informing the conception and design of future devices and music. Troy Rogers is a co-founding member of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI). The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in 2009-10, he spent time working with what is perhaps the world’s largest and most advanced robot orchestra at the Logos Foundation in Ghent, Belgium. While there he apprenticed with Godfried-Willem Raes, developed a singing, speaking robot, and composed music for the M&M Robot Orchestra. Troy is currently a visiting lecturer in music at the University of Virginia.