From March 17 to 19, composer and robot maker Troy Rogers will be hosting a workshop in musical robotics at Two Harbors High School. The workshop is open to high school students from grade 6 to 12, and will teach them about both robotics and music as they collaborate to create a 'robotic percussion ensemble'.
"It's very exciting," says Rogers. "Over the course of several days, students who may have never touched a soldering iron, built anything with electronics, or written a single note of music work collaboratively to make robotic instruments and write new music. In the process, technical and aesthetic concepts that may be boring or difficult in other contexts are rendered both comprehensible and fun."
The workshop culminates with a public performance featuring the newly-created robotic instruments and special guest musician, Alan Sparhawk — guitarist and vocalist for the band, Low.
"Alan's presence at the workshop will offer students a wonderful opportunity to interact with a a versatile, acclaimed songwriter and performer. Given his adventurous musical spirit and singular voice, I fully expect he'll push the robots into previously unexplored territory, and it will be very exciting to share this unique experience with the students and audience," says Rogers.
Learn more about Troy Rogers — his music, his robots, and his work in education — on his website. Here is a video featuring one of his more recent creations, Stemmetje, which is a robotic musical instrument capable of producing human voice-like sounds.