Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Musical River Robots

Water Music by Karl-Heinz Jeron

Thursday 30.Sept.2010 6-9pm

Location: Tamesis Dock, Albert Embankment, between Vauxhall and Lambeth Bridge, London, SE1 7TP

Tank takes to the Thames as a chorus of robots perform Händel’s Water Music on a river boat.

20 tiny self developed robots improvise over themes from the Water Music by Georg Friedrich Händel. The Water Music is one of the greatest hits in Baroque music and consists of three suites. In 1717, Händel shook the London music scene when on a boat trip on the river Thames, he delighted the king with his 2nd Suite. “Our Händel”, as the English called their favourite composer at the time, had delivered another smash hit. One could rely on the Elton John of the Baroque age.

The robot orchestra will contemporarily reenact the historical performance on a river boat. With electronic bleeps and baroque choreography the robot orchestra will revitalize the probably best known suite of the Water Music, Suite No. 2, in D Mayor. Following the permiere on the Thames, the concert will take place on a boat. Some of the robots will improvise within the scope of Händel‘s composition, with the help of Euler‘s music theory. Euler (1707-1783) is a contemporary of Händel.

The methods described in Leonhard Eulers essay “Tentamen novae theoriae musicae” from 1739 set up the foundation for the improviations of the robot orchestra. In his music theory Euler describes mathematical methods for concord and dissonance problems. Eulers music therory suits well here, because there the ratio of frequency intervals play a major role. The robot orchestra uses the musical score of the Petrucci Music Library.

The performance will take place on the deck of Tamesis Dock, an old 1930's Dutch barge overlooking the Tate Britain and Westminster. Previously known as the Mary Rose it is now a bar and restaurant.

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