Botbop Bozar

    (2022)

    performance at Sonar Barcelona Botbop (also mentioned in performance art) was formed in 2019 on special request of Belgian arts center BOZAR in Brussels, specifically to research new artistic directions in music, using state of the art techniques in the field of artificial intelligence. Electronic wind instrument and modular patching aficionada Andrew Claes and live coding geek Dago Sondervan were scouted to prepare a special performance in co-production with Ars Electronica. Research engineer Kasper Jordaens joined the team providing further A.I. and Machine Learning technical assistance and BotBop was born. Botbop is still under development and is looking for grants to enhance the software to become “smarter” and better interoperable. In the core concept, Botbop is a band member, playing along with the other band members. In its current lifeform it listens to the music and composes, based on dynamic rules the other band members can set by playing music or using interactive controls. This music is then rendered as sheet music. The quartet starts playing ‘a prima vista’ whatever the algorithm is outputting, visualized after a fixed delay of 8 measures needed for the AI inferring, interpreting and transforming the music. Every 4 bars, the former bars are erased, enabling the strings to play seamlessly for prolonged times. Skilled in musical interpretation, the 4 classical trained musicians breathe life back into the equation. While we collaborate intensely on all aspects of this project, I’m responsible for the data interfaces, handing it over to AI models and rendering the sheet music, as well as the data visualization part, that is live coded.

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