Will 2011 be the year of the musical robot? It certainly seems that way. EMMI (Expressive Machines Musical Instruments) was founded in 2007 by Troy Rogers, Steven Kemper and Scott Barton. Their group invents, builds, and composes music for robotic musical instruments.
EAR Duo, a gifted musical group featuring bassoonist Dana Jessen and Amsterdam based saxophonist Michael Straus commissioned EMMI to create an ensemble of next generation robotic string and wind instruments for a series of upcoming performances across the US and Europe. As of 6pm EST tonight, the three Virginia boys who make up EMMI will have successfully raised over $8,000 on Kickstarter to build the needed robotic instruments.
“The current state of musical robotics resembles that of electronic music 50 years ago. Robotic instruments are poised to explode forth from research institutions onto the larger musical scene, creating new genres and transforming existing ones,” writes EMMI.
Check out this amazing video that shows composer and belly dancer Aurie Hsu wearing several wireless sensors to allow her to control EMMI’s robotic instruments with her movements as she dances. The performance took place this year and was a collaborative effort between Hsu and EMMI’s Steven Kemper.
Thanks to @PhanArt for the tip!