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My friend Sarah Angliss is running a one-day course, on music and computers and robots and things like that. It looks rather good fun. Based at City Lit, Keeley Street, Covent Garden. I’ve spotted that City Lit’s Music Tech people are on Facebook, here https://www.facebook.com/CityLitMusicTech and on Twitter, here @citylit

Performing with robots – masterclass with Sarah Angliss


When: 30 November 2014 (it’s a Sunday) – 10am to 5pm
Cost: £90 (no concessions)
Venue: City Lit main site – Keeley Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 4BA
Course code: MK573
Full details: http://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/Music/Music_technology_and_digital_audio_production/Performing_with_robots_-_masterclass_with_Sarah_Angliss/MK573

The video above shows Sarah’s computer-controlled bell rig / carillion. Music is an adaptation of Troika, from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije.

“The bells are being played by wooden balls, spring-mounted on servo-controlled beaters, running off a LynxMotion SSC-32 board, receiving serial signals from a Max/MSP patch (which is interpreting a midi file).”

What is the course about?

Discover how to hook a computer up to simple sensors, LEDs and motors, via an Arduino board, so you can make reactive music and simple music machines. Includes beginners’ tips on electronics, programming and MaxMSP.

What topics will we cover?

  • How light sensors, switches, accelerometers and other off-the-peg sensors work, with an emphasis on simple, practical ways to use them.
  • A brief introduction to motors, solenoids and LEDs which can be used to make your own music machines.
  • How to make sensors, motors and LEDs ‘talk’ to your laptop, via an Arduino board, so they can use them with MaxMSP or other music software.
  • How to combine and develop the above concepts to create your own novel, responsive, physical musical machines and software patches.
  • Sarah will discuss how to think creatively and critically about the impact of these technologies in creative performance.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Describe the differences between accelerometers, light sensors, ultrasonic sensors and other simple sensors and understand how to use them.
  • Demonstrate how to make LEDs, dc motors and servos work.
  • Demonstrate how to make sensors and motors ‘talk’ to MaxMSP or Ableton, via an Arduino, so you can integrate them into your performance.
  • Have had some hands-on practical experience which you can build on later to create physical musical devices of your own.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is open to beginners, who have never used an Arduino or electronics before and intermediate students who want to focus their skills on music making.

We’re assuming you have some basic familiarity with a computer – and if you already have some programming or Arduino skills, you’ll be able to do more on the day.

We’ll be using MaxMSP in the practical sessions. You’ll be given ready made patches which you can use or adapt. These patches are suitable for beginners but if you’re already familiar with MaxMSP you’re welcome to adapt or extend these patches.

More details: http://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/Music/Music_technology_and_digital_audio_production/Performing_with_robots_-_masterclass_with_Sarah_Angliss/MK573

Who can I contact for further information?

Tel: 020 7492 2630
To enrol on a course, call 020 7831 7831.
Sarah’s on Twitter @Therematrix

Monome DIY Kit: Glowing LEDs 01