Mari Kimura is an experimental string player extraordinaire, regularly venturing to the edge of what’s possible at the meeting of acoustic and electronic technology. GuitarBot is a “guitar”-playing robot (perhaps more reminiscent of a shamisen), an invention of Eric Singer, founder of the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. The two meet above in a lovely video – not new, but well worth watching any old time, as reminded to us by Richard Swelling’s Etherbomb blog. Mari writes in comments on YouTube:

HI, Mari here. For those wondering what’s happening: Behind the white box, there is a Mac and an audio interface. I am running a software MaxMSP, which is LISTENING to the pitch. loundess and the timing of the violin. The ‘patch’ I created in Max contains certain interactive instructions such as "listen to the E (highest open string on the violin)". For example in the beginning, if you listen carefully you notice when I play above E, it stops. Iinteractions change in predetermined time frames.

It’s a reminder that, technology aside, the key ingredient in electro-acoustic music is great musicianship.

Quite nice stuff! And the video is shot by my friend Liubo Borrisov; Liubo, if you’re out there, say hi.

  • Great interactive music! Shows as well that a real good human violinist, that's really great! Toyota's violin player isn't close (although their trumpet player could be).

  • cubestar

    Sometimes sounds amazing, sometimes sounds crap.

    But maybe she likes the crap too 🙂

  • dead_red_eyes

    It's amazing what Max/MSP can do.

  • Bodhi

    Peter, I was going to say that you haven't been listening to the right shamisen players… but then I discovered ShamisenBot! 🙂

    That video is pretty amazing though, It's a stroke of genius to leave GuitarBot freely recoiling like that.

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