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Bafana for Shimon - Highlights

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Uploaded on Mar 24, 2011

Inspired by street performances of African marimba bands, the piece Bafana uses a number of repetitive interlocking rhythmic motifs, played interdependently by a human and a robotic marimba player. Shimon, Georgia Tech's improvising robotic musician, is programmed to listen to its human co-player, detect specific motifs, and respond in a manner that is at times predictable and at times surprising. The piece begins with a playful vision-based interaction between the human and the robot that introduces some of the musical motifs in a social non-rhythmic context. The human player then chooses any of nine possible motifs to start the piece, plays it in a loop, and awaits Shimon's response. In the current implementation of the piece, Shimon's personality develops from predictable consonant responses at the beginning, to more surprising chromatic reactions towards the end, challenging the human player to constantly listen and carefully adapt to the evolving nature of the music.

Performed at the Sonic Generator Concert
Woodruff Art Center, Atlanta, GA
March 16, 2011

Percussionist - Tom Sherwood
Composition - Gil Weinberg
Robotic and Musical Programing - Ryan Nikolaidis
Vision Programing - Yingjia Liu

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