ReSiDeNt BlOg

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Language Game Performance Video

Following you'll find the edited version of the Language Game performance. I've also added a video from the rehearsals, which is much more relaxed >>



Monday, March 24, 2008

Language Game

In this first edition of the Language Game, the performer, wearing a custom designed soft sensor suit, puppeteers Lemur's surrounding robotic musical instruments. As the performer begins to experiment with the system’s potential, her dance becomes both action and reaction.

Concept, soft sensor suit and motion-capture to midi interface by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson. Performer, professional ballroom dancer Micaela Schedlbauer. Robotic musical instruments by Lemur, League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots.

from photoshop to photo-ready

Hi folks, this is Jay Alan Zimmerman. I've had a great time during my residency at LEMUR and I've learned so much. My (overly ambitious) goal was to create a "visual symphony" because I'm a composer who has become deaf to most sound.

The first step was to bring some visual order to the LEMUR space and group the robots to create an "orchestra." So I photographed the robots and space and came up with this general layout in photoshop.

Next up was devising the conceptual arc of the piece. One thing the robots lack vs. human players is anticipatory movement, i.e., when a violinist raises her bow you realize a sound is about to occur. So I decided to let the video screens play the role of "conductor" and virtually touch the robots to trigger their sounds. Little did I realize this would require much programming, multiple computers & programs all synced together.

It's been a lot of work, but thanks to the Lemur team, this has become a reality. Now I just have to finish the score by Friday... : )


Monday, February 25, 2008

Residency progress

Hi all. A quick update.

Our piece starting coming together last week. Ellen and I worked out the major pieces at the lemurplex and have been refining our respective parts.

The nice lemurs made me a big ultimate stand for my marimba, which proved important, as Ellen decided to choreograph a large amount of the piece *under* my marimba. I will be playing the xylobot a good amount, and I have been working on figuring out how to make the best use of its unstoppable robotic clangyness. This has included figuring out which notes/bars I thought had the sweetest harmonics, what types of arpeggios seem to work best, and various treatments with body, microphones, and amplification.

We are also using the midi wind chimes to trigger the mod bots, which is ridiculously fun.

I finally got around to getting the musical parts down on paper, and it looks like this:

If you haven't listened to Taylor's Gamelan piece above, DO IT! It was super hot.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Robo Gam

This is Zemi17 (taylor)
I was a protoresident at LEMUR in January
I worked on adapting some robots they made to play xylophones so that it could play Indonesian Gamelan instruments that I brought back with me after living there for a years.

Check out the composition:

This was recorded by Dok from Amoeba and Peter Priciple at a private session with about 20 people on January 30th at the LEMUR PLEX.

For you Gamelan Heads - the instrumentation was very unorthadox.
The four gamelan instruments were a Balinese Trompong for a Gong Keybar set (Modern Pelog), A balinese Gender tuned Slendro, Balinese Slonding - special 10 key nyong-nyong cinikan with 2 extra keys, and 4 keys of a Central Javanese Mongang with PVC resonators like a Balinese Jublag would have.

This was backed up by LEMUR MODBOTS (shaker, bowls, scrappers, and the circle sheets ones), 2 Balinese Ceng Ceng Kopayak, and 2 big bass drums played by robot arms.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Hello Lemur(s)

Here are some links to a video-recording of my January Lemur piece:

Full-length video on Lemur's website:

Short (excerpted) version on YouTube:

Hello Lief & Eric! To the new composers-in-residence: have a blast -- I did!

Drew Krause

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy 25th birthday, MIDI. It's been a long time...

Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music has posted a reader's speculation that this year marks the 25th anniversary of MIDI. I find myself using MIDI more than usual during my LEMUR residency, and it feels like reminiscing with an old friend. Ever since MSP was released, my work has been moving away from the note-y, event-y nature of MIDI messages and toward the constantly flowing river of MSP signals. (OK, technologists will correct me: signal vectors ain't exactly analog, but the paradigms are related.) I even made the piece One Single File Line for soprano saxophone and computer specifically to explore the cybernetic condition of situated-within-a-flow-of-data-mess.

And now I'm having fun screwing my head on backwards at LEMUR to remember my old MIDI tricks. Every "makenote" object connected to a "noteout" in Max reminds me of my earliest interactive work--often quite literally, since I find myself opening old patches to cannibalize them. Good to see you again, MIDI, you haven't changed a bit.

Holland Hopson

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Max Says Hi

Hello LEMUR fans

I dropped into the lemurplex last week for the first time on this feb residency. Leif gave me a tour of the plex and all the instruments, and I've since begun working on a piece for the Feb 29th show with dancer/choreographer Ellen Godena. 

The xylobot (clanger) will be my main focus for the next couple weeks, as I work out the piece. I will be controlling the robots via a midi mallet controller that I play called the Marimba Lumina. It can play the robots directly, or send them all kinds of quick machiney arpeggios. Last week I also discovered the midi wind chimes controller, which is really interesting when driving the mod bots.  I'm back at LEMUR this week, so maybe some more updates soon.

More about us here:

Max Lord -
Ellen Godena -


Monday, February 11, 2008

zach layton : february resident...BIO

zach layton is a composer, curator, improviser and new media artist based in Brooklyn with an interest in biofeedback, generative algorithms, experimental culture and architecture.  His work investigates complex relationships and topologies created through the interaction of simple core elements like sine waves, minimal surfaces and kinetic visual patterns. 

zach's work has been performed by the cleveland chamber symphony and he has performed and exhibited at the kitchen, roulette, art forum berlin, new york electronic art festival, yerba buena center for the arts, eyebeam, sculpture center, diapason, issue project room, bushwick arts project, st. mark's ontological theater, dumbo arts festival, new york digital salon, miguel abreu gallery, participant inc, monkeytown and many other venues in new york, south america and europe.  He has collaborated with Luke Dubois, Vito Acconci, Jonas Mekas, Bradley Eros, Andy Graydon,  Nick Hallett, Matthew Ostrowski, Christine Bard, Alex Waterman, Patrick Hambrect, Marissa Olsen, Angie Eng, Adam Kendall, Chika Ijima, Tristan Perich and Ray Sweeten among many other artists, filmmakers, curators and musicians.

Zach is also the curator of Brooklyn's monthly experimental music series, "darmstadt: classics of the avant garde" which features leading local and international composers and improvisers, was co-curator of the 2007 PS1 summer warmup music series and is one of the directors of Issue Project Room.  Zach has received grants from the Netherlands America Foundation, Turbulence and the Jerome Foundation and is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Welcome to the ReSiDeNt BlOg

This is the place to find out what's been going on with the LEMUR ReSiDeNtS and their projects.
Please check back often for updates!