On Tuesday, March 17 (Belgian time) (6 am Wednesday March 18, Australian Eastern Time), I participated in an intercontinental improvisation using the computer controlled acoustic musical instruments at the Logos Foundation in Gent, Belgium. Organized by Kristof Lauwers, the participants were Kristof Lauwers and Yvan Vandersanden at Logos, Simon somewhere else in Gent, but not at Logos, myself in Australia, Juan Sebastian Lach Lau in Mexico, and Jaime Reis in Lisbon, Portugal.
The technical setup was very simple. We heard each other over an m3u audio stream broadcast from Logos. We communicated with a chat interface, one of the participants of which was the bot which communicated both with us and which sent MIDI signals to the Logos computer controlled acoustic instruments. The communication language was very simple – Kristof had preset the bot to only play one particular pitch set on the instruments (a 12-tone transcription of part of the harmonic series) – we gave commands to the bot such as “choose [instrument],” “pattern *^*v*rrr,” (starting on a note, play the note, then one note higher, then one note lower, followed by 3 pulses of rest, etc.), Speed up (or down), Pitch up (or down), etc. There were some latency problems – I had the worst results, and was also the farthest away. Between hitting return and hearing the results of my commands could take up to 10 seconds. But since we were controlling global gestures, and not individual pitches or rhythms, I could still cope with that delay.
We performed for about 12 minutes on the monthly Logos M&M (men and machines) concert, and a good time was had by all, both audience and performers. The project will continue, with Kristof making refinements to the interface and the commands the language can use. I look forward to future improvisations in this series, and if these are available as real-time streaming audio, I’ll let people know about the event in advance so they can listen in.
The performance can be downloaded from
Further information on the Logos robots is available from
If you do download the recording of the performance, I hope you find it enjoyable.
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