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Saturday, February 5, 2011 8 pm

Celebrating 50 Years of Music & Technology @ MIT
MIT Media Lab (E14), 75 Amherst St., Cambridge
9:00am – 10:00pm

*This event is open and free to the public. No tickets are required.

Heliphon performs Evan Ziporyn's Belle Labs, with Evan Ziporyn, clarinet, and Todd Reynolds, violin.


January 2010 The Heliphon has been rebuilt!

May 2009 Ensemble Robot and Gamelan Galak Tika release Bronze Age Space Age, featuring the Heliphon and Whirlybot on Christine Southworth's Heavy Metal, Ramon Castillo's Agak-Agak, and Po-Chun Wang's Rice Combo.




Ensemble Robot is building more robots, writing more music, and totally rocking out! To book Ensemble Robot, please contact us.



Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8 pm

Bowker Auditorium @ UMass Amherst
80 Campus Center Way, Amherst, Massachusetts 10003

Gamelan Galak Tika & Ensemble Robot
Presented by the Asian Arts and Culture Program at the UMass Fine Arts Center.

Experience Galak Tika, America's most innovative Balinese gamelan, performing traditional and contemporary music and dance for Balinese gamelan, electric guitars, electronics, and Ensemble Robot's Heliphon. Performing Evan Ziporyn's rock gamelan classic Tire Fire and a sneak-peak at his new opera A House in Bali, traditional works featuring stunning Balinese dance performed by master Balinese dancers I Madé Bandem and Ni Lu Suasti, plus Christine Southworth's exhilarating Heavy Metal and Ramon Castillo's Agak-Agak for gamelan and robotic glockenspiel, this concert promises to present a musical hybrid that “expands the horizons of both music and humanity’s relation to machines.”


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 4 pm
The Beeline Festival
MIT Broad Institute, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA

ER with The Calder Quartet, performing Christine Southworth's Honey Flyers for string quartet and Bot(i)Cello. Program also features works by Tristan Perich, Beethoven, and Ben Johnston.

Friday, April 17, 2009, 8 pm
ER + LOUD OBJECTS @ The Beeline Festival
MIT Broad Institute, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA

WORLD PREMIERES Paul Lansky's Concert Aria for Obbligato Violin and Robots and new works for Ensemble Robot + Loud Objects by Christine Southworth, Tristan Perich, and Ramon Castillo. $15 - Buy tickets now! Reception with artists will follow concert.

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 8 pm
Boston Cyberarts Festival @ Axiom Gallery
Jamaica Plain, MA

Ensemble Robot presents brave new works for humans and robots! The concert will feature The Heliphon, an 8-foot tall double-helix shaped robotic glockenspiel, and The Bot(i)Cello, a dramatic single-stringed instrument that sounds like a hundred electric guitars being beaten with sticks. Music by engineers, robots by composers, don't miss this crazy concoction!


Saturday, November 15, 2008, 8 pm
(Le) Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
Presented by Wordless Music

Ensemble Robot, The Calder Quartet, and Andrew W.K. live at New York's hottest new space, (Le) Poisson Rouge. The Calder Quartet performs Christine Southworth's Honey Flyers with the brand new Bot(i)Cello v.5, plus some surprises! Don't miss this one... $15, door opens at 7 pm, advance ticket sales available here.



Thursday, October 30, 2008, 7:30 pm
With Gamelan Galak Tika
Berklee School of Music David Friend Recital Hall, Boston, MA

Gamelan Galak Tika's Beta Gamelan and Ensemble Robot perform NEW WORKS by ensembles' composers. Composers include Ramon Castillo, Midori Matsuo, Christine Southworth, and Po-Chun Wang. Curated by Ramon Castillo.


Saturday, October 18, 2008, 2:30 pm
With Gamelan Galak Tika @ EMPAC Grand Opening Celebration
in Evelyn's Cafe, RPI EMPAC building, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York

Ensemble Robot once again teams up with Gamelan Galak Tika for a Balinese - Electronic extravaganza! Don't miss this amazing concert at Rensselaer's brand new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) with rocking gamelan, electric guitars, and circuit-banging robots! Featuring Ramon Castillo's wacky robot-gamelan-electronica Agak-Agak; Christine Southworth's Heavy Metal, for gamelan, electric guitars, and a full lineup of robots; Evan Ziporyn' rock gamelan classic Tire Fire! Curated by Micah Silver.

  International Festival of Arts and Ideas
Sunday, June 15, 2008, 7 pm
With Gamelan Galak Tika @ New Haven, CT

Two WORLD PREMIERES: Jenny Olivia Johnson's Highway Mass and Ramon Castillo's Agak-Agak. Christine Southworth's Heavy Metal, for gamelan, electric guitars, and a full lineup of robots; Evan Ziporyn's Belle Labs with the Heliphon, clarinet, and violin; and Ziporyn's rock gamelan classic Tire Fire.


Technology Review's Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT
September 27, 2008, 4:30 pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA

World premiere of Christine Southworth's Robot Organic for Whirlybot, Heliphon, pipe organ, and clarinet, as well as Evan Ziporyn's Belle Labs for Heliphon, clarinet, and violin.


Friday, April 27, 2007, 7 pm & 8:30 pm
Boston Museum of Science Theater of Electricity

The performance featured Ensemble Robot, Andy Cavatorta, Chyle Crossley, Nathan Davis, Giles Hall, Ha Yang Kim, Blake Newman, Erik Nugent, Sachi Sato, Megan Schubert, Christine Southworth, Bill Tremblay, Eddie Whalen, and was conducted by Evan Ziporyn.

This performance was presented as part of The 1st Annual Cambridge Science Festival.

Listen to Radio Feature on ZAP! : Marrying Science and Music ( with Senior Health Desk correspondent Helen Palmer, WGBH

WIRED Magazine NextFest 2006
September 28 - October 1, 2006
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
New York City

See photos from this event!



Ensemble Robot @
Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music

Mass MoCA

July 11-30, 2006
North Adams, MA

BELLE LABS by Evan Ziporyn
Friday, July 14 @ 4:30 pm, in Mass MoCA galleries

HEAVY METAL by Christine Southworth
at the Bang on a Can Summer Marathon
Saturday, July 29, 4 pm
Hunter Center @ Mass MoCA

HEAVY METAL opened the six-hour Bang on a Can Marathon concert of new music, featuring special guest Meredith Monk.


Music & the Invasion of Technology
@ Boston Museum of Science

Wednesday January 25, 2006 7 pm
Boston Museum of Science, Cahners Theater.
Science Park, Boston, MA

See Webcast at WGBH Forum Network

(Gamelan Galak Tika with the BloBot)

by Evan Ziporyn

ANTHROPOMORPHIC (Heliphon, BeatBot, and Marc Chan on keyboard)
by Ramon Castillo

BELLE LABS: World Premiere
by Evan Ziporyn

Featuring the critically acclaimed Todd Reynolds on violin and Ziporyn himself on clarinet, Ziporyn's "Belle Labs" is a virtuosic dialogue between two humans and a robot, pushing the musicians and the machine to their limits to create a mind-bending sonic sensation.

Commissioned by the Boston Museum of Science and Ensemble Robot, with the support of the LEF Foundation.

HEAVY METAL: World Premiere
by Christine Southworth

Southworth's rocking new piece for Balinese gamelan, robots and electric strings! Featuring Gamelan Galak Tika, Ensemble Robot, and special guests Todd Reynolds (violin), Eddie Whalen (guitar), Erik Nugent (lyricon) and Blake Newman (bass).

Commissioned by the Boston Museum of Science with the support of Meet the Composer and New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).



Ensemble Robot @ Boston Cyberarts Festival
April 23 - May 8, 2005

Heliphon: YPTRATRPY (You Play the Robot and the Robot Plays You)
by Leila Hasan & Giles Hall

Concert: Saturday, May 7, 2005.

JAMU: World Premiere
Music by Christine Southworth
Performed by Eric Gunther and Ensemble Robot.

Choreographed by Ashley Salomon
Danced by Kristin Marrs, Bethany Leclerc, Katrina Sukola, & Ashley Salomon

Music by Ramon Castillo
Performed by Sachi Sato (accordian) and Ensemble Robot


Boston Museum of Science Theater of Electricity

February 4, 2005

Music by Christine Southworth
Robots by Leila Hasan

Conducted by Ramon Castillo
Performed by Ensemble Robot musicians






Listen to Radio Features on
Music & The Invasion of Technology


HERE & NOW (mp3, 10.8 MB)
High Tech Bots play Ancient T
une (
with Robin Young, WBUR, 1/25/06


WBUR Morning Edition (mp3, 5.1 MB)
preview by Matt Largey, WBUR, 1/25/06



Read features about Music & The Invasion of Technology and Ensemble Robot:  


A delightful meeting of man and machine
By Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

NORTH ADAMS -- Evan Ziporyn, a free spirit, has composed a trio for violin, clarinet, and a robot named Heliphon.

The work, ``Belle Labs," was performed Friday during one of the daily afternoon concerts presented by the Bang on a Can Music Festival at Mass MoCA, ``Banglewood." It was the kind of unexpected event one has learned to expect from the festival and from the MIT-based composer, a man who prefers not to repeat himself. READ MORE

Computerworld Schweiz
Hardware: Roboter musizieren und tanzen

09.03.2006 | 17:56 Uhr
Im Ensemble Robot spielen Musikanten aus Fleisch und Blut mit Robotern zusammen. Dabei entsteht eine faszinierende Musik.

by Jens Stark

«Ich bin der Musikant mit Taschenrechner in der Hand», trällerten die Mitglieder von Kraftwerk, liessen eine Menge elektronischer Klänge vom Stapel und gerierten sich in ihren Performances als humanoide Roboter. Ähnliches erwartet der Zuhörer, wenn er zum ersten Mal der Musik des «Ensemble Robot» lauschen möchte, und ist überrascht, wenn dann zunächst einmal Klänge des balinesischen Gamelan oder von Geige und Klarinette zu hören sind. Auch dann, wenn die eigentlichen Roboter zum Einsatz kommen, ist das Klanggebäude alles andere als elektronisch. «Die Roboter produzieren die Töne wie wir Menschen», erklärt Christine Southworth vom Ensemble Robot.

Read more


Robots Play a New Sound of Music

Dancing to the beat of a robot drummer
Kimberly W. Moy, The Boston Globe, 1/23/06

Shortly after she graduated from college with a minor in music, Christine Southworth found herself composing tunes no one could play.

So the MIT alumna took the next logical step: She had a friend invent a robot that could perform her polyrhythmic, Indonesian-inspired compositions.

On Wednesday at the Museum of Science, Southworth, now a student of computer music, will show off her ensemble's compositions and her latest robotic instruments -- which lie at the nexus between science and art. The relatively new Bot(i)Cello, whose $1,000 in parts include fans, strings, a wooden bowl and three windshield-wiper motors, will play alongside fellow robots, real-life Balinese gamelan players, and more-traditional instruments, such as a guitar, a violin, a bass, and a lyricon (a vintage wind instrument).

read more

MIT mashup: Robots and humans make beautiful music together

Bob Young , The Boston Herald , 1/24/06

First there was a troupe of 30 math, physics and engineering student musicians playing the traditional music of faraway Bali.

Then robots played music with humans and millions of volts of electricity. Now, from an idea that was fine-tuned in the halls and labs of MIT, the students, the robots and humans will share the stage tomorrow at the Museum of Science. “It was a natural connection,” said Evan Ziporyn, an MIT professor, clarinetist and founder of Gamelan Galak Tika, gamelan being a percussion-dominated instrumental ensemble native to parts of Indonesia.

Natural? Robots and people playing music together? For Ziporyn and Christine Southworth, co-founder and director of Ensemble Robot, composer in residence at the museum and a member of the gamelan orchestra, this show makes perfect sense.

read more


Defend Yourself:
Christine Southworth

Luke O'Neil, Weekly Dig , 1/25/06

The Museum of Science's Music and the Invasion of Technology showcase is from the future. Literally. Well, not literally. Technically, it's in the future, but soon it will be here - and thank goodness, because it sounds crazy. For this premiere performance, Christine Southworth has composed music for robots and humans to play together.

read more (pdf)

Rocking Robots Take Stage
MIT Tech Talk, 1/25/06

It'll be a jamming night at the Museum of Science as humans, computers and robots join forces to present a musical hybrid of Western and traditional Balinese music. "Music and the Invasion of Technology," featuring premieres by Professor Evan Ziporyn and alumna Christine Southworth, will take place at the Museum of Science's Cahners Theater on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.

Best-known for compositions that bridge Balinese and Western musical idioms to forge a new sound, Ziporyn has composed "Belle Labs" as a virtuosic dialogue between two humans (Todd Reynolds on violin and Ziporyn on clarinet) and a robot, pushing the musicians and the machine to their limits.

Southworth, who graduated from MIT in 2002 in mathematics with a minor in music, is co-founder of Ensemble Robot, which premiered "Zap!" -- a work for Van de Graaff generator, robots and musicians -- at the Museum of Science in February 2005. The Boston Phoenix called the work "truly electrifying."

Southworth's "Zap" and Ziporyn's "Belle Labs" both use the Heliphon robot, a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)-controlled double-helix-shaped xylophone that plays by striking metal keys with solenoids.

read more (pdf)


ZAP! is "truly electrifying!"

Will Spitz, The Boston Phoenix, "Out: Going Electric" 2/10/05



Listings & Columns:


Very special thanks to LEF Foundation
for making this performance possible.

We would also like to thank The Boston Museum of Science,
MIT, Brown University, and Andy Cavatorta.

please click on poster to get larger image


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