Who Says Drum Machines Have No Soul?

karmetic Until there’s a Robot Coachella, the best way to see virtuoso percussionists MahaDeviBot (pictured, left), Tammy (center) and GanaPatiBot (right) will be to attend tomorrow night’s Scream Festival at REDCAT, where the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra will be making their world premiere.

The brainchild of Ajay Kapur, director of the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design Program at CalArts, the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra describes itself as bringing together “custom-built robotic musical instruments and human performers with modified instruments, unique musical interfaces, and hemispherical speaker-pods” and promises “a night of new compositions and robotics.”

The Orchestra will also feature performances by humans: North Indian sarodist Ustad Aashish Kahn, electronic artist Curtis Bahn, Balinese gamelan master Nyoman Wenten and vocal synthesis innovator Perry Cook will be on hand for the evening. And if they’re smart, they’ll heed the relatively unknown Fourth Law of Robotics: “A robot shall not let an inferior biological life form upstage him at a concert.”

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