No comment on this one just yet; I’ll have to pick my jaw up off the floor. Amidst a sea of new robotic percussion, this Wii-remote-controlled, Max/MSP-based mini-ensemble of wooden African percussion is musical, expressive, and downright stunning. I love the mechanical (literally and musically) grooves, and with a single human controlling it live, it’s true to the one-man-band history of these sorts of instruments. “One human, three machines, rhythm,” says the video description. I hope to do some research and share more soon, but I can’t resist sharing the results now.

Thanks to Patrick Flanagan for the tip on his work. Patrick predicts that “this is the beginning of steamfunk.”

Note: please see comments for more on what’s happening; Patrick is using robotics to effectively augment his own personal performance and improvisation, allowing him to play multiple instruments at once. He is actually playing in one of the available modes, however, and has some nice reflections on what he’s doing. I’ll follow up with more details – as I said, wanted to give you a peek at the video first. So, before you jump to conclusions, ask about what’s unclear or what you’d like to know. We’ve got the artist here to discuss.