Robot Orchestra Performance as Part of ESOF

4th August 2016

Photography by Enna Bartlett Photography. Copyright © Enna Bartlett 2016

(Part of the Robot Orchestra – the Glock O Bot – which was made by the Mather Family at Fablab Manchester)

As part of the celebrations surrounding Manchester’s status as European City of Science for 2016, the Hallé has been working on a project in partnership with Siemens and The University of Manchester to build a recycled Robot Orchestra. This project was designed to emphasise the links between science and music and featured robots created by a number of different schools and community organisations.

To ensure all the robots could work together in an ensemble, the Hallé’s Major Sponsor Siemens developed a robotic conductor they named Graphene. Its name provides another link to Manchester being named the European City of Science 2016, as graphene was discovered in Manchester and also happens to be a good ‘conductor’.

As part of the project, the Hallé’s Education Director, Steve Pickett, was invited to compose a piece for the robots. The Robots are Coming!, written for nine Hallé musicians and the 16 selected robots, received its premiere at the opening conference for the EuroScience Open Forum which took place in the Manchester Central Convention Complex on 24th July.

The Robot Orchestra will continue to be developed over the coming year, with compositions being produced by the Camden Reeves, Head of the University’s music department and other local artists including collaborations with Brighter Sound. Click the video below to see a clip of the first performance of the Robot Orchestra on Sunday 24th July.

The next performance of the Robot Orchestra will be on Wednesday 26 October 2016 in the Museum of Science and Industry as part of the Manchester Science Festival. Performances are planned for 11am, 1pm and 3pm with interactive activities in between.