This is an unorthodox band.It includes German musicians Cico Beck, Nico Siereg and the unique assortment of non-human band members performing at South by Southwest.
“Actually we call it like a psychedelic robot orchestra.It’s like a combination of psychedelic instruments, but also like very trashy robot instruments.”
Once set up, these instruments play on their own, “The center of the whole is set up with a computer.Most of the stuff is controlled by the computer.The computer can translate to voltage signals so the robots are controlled by voltage that are controlled by ..., that is controlled by the computer.”
Playing in this experimental band is not the same as playing in a traditional one.“It’s a little bit different because you have always have in mind that there are machines playing with you, so there’s no reaction from them.”
Siereg says in some ways once the robots are programmed, it frees him up to focus on what he’s playing and even improvise.You can see how there could be more collaboration between human musicians and robot ones in the future. But will robot musicians replace their human counterparts altogether?
“Hopefully, real music won’t die”. Even if the robots aren’t taking over the music world,Beck says it is undeniable that in the 21st century, music and technology are intertwined.
“Technology is like a very important tool, like even very often, it’s also a very important part of inspiration.”
This type of connection between art and technology is why South by Southwest is no longer just a music festival.It has evolved into an event where techies as well as musicians gather and exchange ideas that give life to new innovations.
Elizabeth Lee, VOA News, Austin.