At first, Ork.1 was a part of an interactive installation. The instruments was reacting to gestures so performers could find a way to express music with body language. While I was doing some tests for
the exhibition, I really enjoyed using Ork.1 as a VST (virtual instrument) on my DAW (sequencer). The
idea of practicing with this orchestra in a band was born.
Integrating this kind of instrument in "popular" music is half of the research.
Many motorized/robotized instruments have been made for years with automatons but unlike synthesizers, those have not found their place on stage yet. They are mostly presented alone or with their creators. This could be down to a fear of the idea of mixing the industrial with the creative. Or more tellingly, robots with creativity. There is a lot to do to overcome the conventional wisdom of the robot replacing the human, when the two can and should complement one another. This work is only a drop but I consider it as a start in the right direction.
With the design, I have tried to present a different vision of the machine by reminding the viewer of
the magic aura of the automatons. Indeed, I often make aesthetic choices first, with the practical side coming after. Like sculptures, original shapes can lead our imagination to new spaces. For example, the use of wood in Ork.1 is to signify our link to nature and that technology is a part of it. The use of servomotors is also an aesthetic choice because the movement is easier to control so it becomes more visual which is essential.
The basic technical choices are the use of arduino with a MIDI shield and Max for live for the software, as Live is now a norm in popular music. Pure Data and Reaper could be an option in the future but it would involve spending more time working on software and less on composing. The sensor I use is a Leap Motion as I am still interested in the use of gestures in music and inspired by Leon Theremin.