If you're a fan of "slow hypnotic acid house" music, then this Lego automata is for you. Oxford Contemporary Music provided a grant to produce this piece of Lego technic genius. Besides the music, I'm completely mesmerized by the mechanics of the build itself.
Play house is an automata that mechanically computes and performs hooky and hypnotic acid house. Like a generative musical loom, a single drive turns a sequence of LEGO gears, levers and latches that mutate riffs and rhythm patterns. These are played out on analogue drums and synthesisers from the halcyon days of 1980's dance music while the machine gradually shifts the timbre and space of the sound. In the piece the process of creation is laid bare so one can indulge in picking apart the interactions driving the score, seeing sound as it changes in sculpture, exploring our expectations in music, or simply rocking out to some fruity acid.
"Play House" was created for AudioGraft 2014, by Alex Allmont, a PhD student who was until very recently studying "improvising with polyrhythms and phased rhythms." Unfortunately, his financial situation has forced him to put his degree on hold. So, he spends his time working on projects that involve "modular synths, performance, musical machines," including loads of Lego builds.
My studies are converging on a sort of Reich/jazz/tech fusion, basically ways of jamming with complex rhythm whilst not falling into the traps of structure in performance. This is driven in part by existing research in cognition so I'm looking to shuffle around my studies to suit this. I'm presently looking to develop relations with institutions in this area.
Here's a pretty rad Lego drum set he made using a Pot Noodle:
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