Friday, July 28 at the Gold Saucer Studio will mark a world first for the intelligent musical agents known as ‘Musebots’. For the first time ever musebots will generate music in response to human collaborators, including musicians, a videographer and a poet. Featuring musebots designed by Arne Eigenfeldt, Matthew Horrigan, Paul Paroczai and Yves Candau, Play Nice will test the boundaries of machine creativity in an evening of eclectic music and performance.
Musebots are pieces of software that autonomously create music in collaboration with other musebots. Individual musebots are like players in a band: they make specific kinds of sounds and respond to the sounds made by others. Each bot ‘listens’ and makes decisions in real time, based on their unique role in the ensemble. Much like human performers, the bots can be unpredictable. Though they are coded by human composers, their performances are exciting because they don’t always do what they’re told.
Up until this point, the musebots have collaborated exclusively with other musebots; now they are going to be forced to respond to humans. Some of the city’s top improvisers will perform alongside the bots, including cellist Peggy Lee and guitarists Adrian Verdejo, Matthew Ariaratnam and Nathan Marsh. The bots will also have some interdisciplinary curve-balls to contend with, including spoken word by me (Barbara Adler) and live video by David Storen. Far more than a technical demonstration, the concert aims to showcase the musebots’ artistic potential and to highlight their broad musical range.
Musebots are the brainchild of Ollie Bown and Arne Eigenfeldt, two longtime designers of live generative music systems. A defining goal of the musebot project is to establish a creative platform for experimenting with musical autonomy, open to people developing cutting-edge music intelligence, or simply exploring the creative potential of generative processes in music.
The Musebot Project is open source: anyone can download musebots or learn to make their own at http://musicalmetacreation.org/musebots/