Toa Mata Band
Toa Mata Band is the World’s first LEGO robotic band. It’s a project by Italian interaction designer and music producer Giuseppe Acito.
Acito’s idea comes from his desire to play his collection of vintage drum pads in a live set. While other electro bands have for a long time relied on people in costumes to act as robots of their alter-ego, Acito decided to actually create a real robot band who play his productions - an approach that he calls “mechatronic music”.
Each band member is build using LEGO Bionicle pieces, an ingenious system of electric motors, rubber bands and pulleys connected to the figures arms allowed them to play an array of different touchable synthesizers, drum machines, smartphones and acoustic percussions. The arms are controlled by an Arduino Uno which is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer.
The project began by publishing a video-series on YouTube. Episode 1 was a home-made experiment which quickly went viral on the web. In the second episode, the band starts to play electro tracks live and their “deus ex machina” Acito jams with them. The third episode is a tribute to Depeche Mode by covering their classic song “Everything Counts” where the robots play unconventional percussion instruments made out of food packaging, captured by a contact microphone and processed in real time (watch it here).
And now… here’s episode 4.
Toa Mata Band: We Are The Robots
More to see and do at Music Tech Fest
May 27-30 at Funkhaus Berlin
At #MTFBerlin with the help of leading UK educational expert Siobhan Ramsey, Tom Flynn and Daniel Lopez of Sandbox Education, in collaboration with creative education expert Alexandra Antonopoulou, the #MTFSparks built, tested and performed with their new inventions on the main stage at the festival.
This spring, an extraordinary gathering of creative coders, visual artists and vocal experts assembled at #MTFBerlin, forming the first cross-disciplinary #MTFLabs: Vocal Tech.
One of the things that’s most important to us at Music Tech Fest is the idea that music is for everyone. Not just to listen to, but to make. Removing barriers to participation is one of the great applications of music technologies.
In a gala award ceremony in Amsterdam, festival founder Michela Magas was presented with one of the highest awards for Innovation in Europe.
People walked on the moon and they’re cloning sheep – so why can’t I dance while drumming?” LIZZY is a humanised drumkit – and she’s coming to perform at #MTFBerlin.
What would it be like to climb inside a working musical instrument? What happens when you combine pigs, sheep, and TNT with modular synthesizers? Find out in the Blam for Minecraft demo at #MTFBerlin.
Matt Black is half of legendary DJ duo and multimedia pop group Coldcut, formed in 1987, and founders of Ninja Tune, the UK record label. He joins us at #MTFBerlin to perform the world premiere of his new audiovisual composition, ‘Ich Bin’.
Join us for a Music Tech Fest exclusive: the premiere of Emika’s Symphony No. 1 in a live mix and intimate discussion about her creative process at the incredible Funkhaus Berlin. The event is free to #MTFBerlin weekend ticketholders.
In January 2015 disabled musician John Kelly presented Drake Music with a blueprint for an electric guitar that would be accessible to him. At #MTFBerlin, Gawain Hewitt of Drake Music joins us to showcase this groundbreaking prototype.
Graham Massey is a legend of electronic music. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and broadcaster, he came to prominence with his seminal electronic act 808 State – and he’s performing an exclusive solo set in the private after-hours club night on Saturday at #MTFBerlin, in a hidden chamber of the Funkhaus.
Sarah Farina is one of Berlin’s most revered DJs – and we’re thrilled to announce that she’s joining us at #MTFBerlin as the first of our guest performers at #MTFLates – the private club night happening after the festival on Saturday night in a hidden chamber of the Funkhaus. Sarah’s internationally-acclaimed bass-heavy and futuristic sets are inventive, inclusive, positive, thoughtful, and tight as a drum.
Ben Heck, host of popular YouTube channel The Ben Heck Show joins us with his crew at #MTFBerlin to hack, invent, share a bit of maker knowledge and film a special episode of the show surrounded by our 50 hackers in the element14 Hack Camp.
Ian Wallman is a world-class record producer and remixer with a string of awards, a UK top 10 hit and collaborations with major artists under his belt. He joins us at #MTFBerlin to lead and coach a group of emerging Berlin dance producers in the Trackathon.
Three-time British beatboxing champion, singer, songwriter, actor, looping artist extraordinaire and one of Elle magazine’s top 100 inspiring women in the world, Grace Savage is coming to #MTFBerlin at Funkhaus, 27-30 May.
Graham Dunning is a sound artist and experimental musician who works with found objects. His ‘Mechanical Techno’ consists of multiple treated records spinning on a single turntable, impacting physical objects, triggering analogue synths, striking percussion and mechanically triggering drum machines.
Ricardo O’Nascimento is a designer and founder of POPKALAB in Rotterdam – a design research studio with a focus on innovation in the field of wearable technology.
Jan Bang is one of Norway’s most accomplished and influential producers. The often hushed and spacious sound he crafts is utterly beautiful and breathtaking – creating a sublime and reverential atmosphere. Listening to Jan Bang can be like walking into a cathedral at midnight.
Award winning jewellery artist Zoe Robertson blends the world of contemporary jewellery art with music, sound, dance and movement. She’s coming to #MTFBerlin to explore interactive performance and ‘Music as Extension of the Human Body’.
Mercury Prize nominee ESKA will not only appear on the main stage at #MTFBerlin… her plan is to form collaborations, invent new types of musical instruments and experiment in the giant creative laboratory that is Music Tech Fest.
Best known for the Marble Machine invention that went viral and received over 17 million views (and rising), Martin is a Swedish instrument maker, inventor and musician with the band Wintergatan.
Ecce Cello bridges the gap between classical music and the technological world of everyday life in 2016. An incredible theatrical performance that places our daily media experiences into the realm of the sublime.