Rap with robots

University of New England

And UNE Music will showcase many of the cutting-edge developments when it hosts the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMC) Conference for the first time, at UNE Sydney from 9-11 October.

Technology has always been integral to music production but these days artificial intelligence and robotics are seriously blurring the boundaries. The conference will hear from musician/AI and robotics developer Dr Richard Savery, who has created robotic musicians capable of jamming with humans.

“Many are worried about AI and it taking over musical creativity, but musicians like Richard are actively collaborating with machines and exploring ways that we can work with technology to enrich our creativity,” said conference organiser and UNE music lecturer Associate Professor Donna Hewitt. “The ACMC Conference and ElectroMUSE concert series will feature emerging research and innovative practices in computer, electronic and digital music that illustrate the wealth of experimental work going on in this space.”

A number of UNE students will join international guests performing and presenting at the conference, which is being held in collaboration with Parramatta Council and organisers of the Parramatta Lanes Festival that follows (11-14 October).

“Our packed, three-day program will include a range of talks, performances, immersive installations and workshops that demonstrate the emerging work of leading global researchers and artists,” said Donna. “These new sound worlds will illustrate how modern technology is inspiring new kinds of musical performances, how sound production techniques and processes have evolved, and even how recent events like the COVID pandemic invite a musical response. We are creating music in ways that were previously unimaginable.”

Another of the keynote addresses will be given by Deaf artist, writer and musician Asphyxia, who is working to improve access to music for Deaf people through the use of new software applications. An Auslan interpreter will ensure this presentation is accessible to all.

All enthusiasts of digital and electronic music are welcome to attend the conference and to enjoy the associated performances. Bookings for the nine ElectroMUSE concerts, three concerts at the Riverside’s Rafferty’s Theatre Space and six in UNE Sydney’s campus at 28 George Street cost just $10 per performance and entry is free for UNE students. The Parramatta community space PHIVE will also be a hive of activity with sensory installations and free lunchtime robot concerts each day.

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