Experimental composer Leonardo Barbadoro conducts the world’s largest all-robot orchestra in upcoming LP ‘Musica Automata’

“Many people still often believe that music must come directly from the hands of a human performer in order to be considered music and have an emotional impact on the listener. With this project I would like to dispel this belief…”

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Leonardo Barbadoro

Image: Luca Nicolao

Experimental composer and musician Leonardo Barbadoro has announced the upcoming release of Musica Automata, an LP featuring music performed by the world’s largest all-robot orchestra

The ensemble of musical robots that is Musica Automata features numerous classical instruments (percussion, woodwind, brass, organ) and many unconventional instruments, and is said to be the largest orchestra of robots in existence.

Fans can preview the album via the single Bomi, which will be released on 22 September via Helical records. Featuring a highly eclectic array of sounds, the song was programmed entirely by Leonardo and performed without the touch of a human. In addition to the main instruments like the pipe organs, piano and bells, many other parameters (dynamics, sound envelope and more) were also programmed into the song, adding subtle ‘human’ nuances to what’s supposedly a robotic performance.

Of the album, Leonardo says: “Musica Automata represents a turning point in my compositional and instrumental research. It is music that brings together two dimensions often perceived as incompatible, even antithetical: the boundless expressive possibilities of electronics implemented by an acoustic instrumental body in a sensory reality, beating, vibrating, and blowing.”

Leonardo began his musical career at a young age, playing synthesizers and guitar in local bands, before developing an interest in composition and electronic music. He studied at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, where he obtained a degree in “Music and New Technologies”. After which, the artist began composing music for an orchestra of automated instruments controlled entirely by digital impulses, an experience that marked the birth of Musica Automatta.

In 2018 Leonardo launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the composition and recording of an entire album with the robotic orchestra. The project was successfully founded later that year, which culminated in a live performance of the installation at 2019’s Tomorrowland festival in Belgium.

Musica Automatta is set to arrive on 3 November 2023. For more info, head to Leonardo Barbadoro’s YouTube channel.


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