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German Band Works in Concert With “Robotic” Instruments to Create Music Mix

"real music won't die"

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Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno. The band is from Munich, Germany.
Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno. The band is from Munich, Germany. VOA

German band Joasihno strikes a chord in a unique way as it takes its show on the road.

Currently touring in Canada, the two-man band works in concert with a “robotic” element that can play several instruments at the same time.

“Actually we call it psychedelic robot orchestra,” said Cico Beck, one of the creators of the band. “It’s a combination of acoustic instruments but also very trashy robot instruments,” he added.

Once hooked up to wires and set up, instruments that include a xylophone, drum and cymbal play on their own. Another contraption, a horizontal, self-revolving wooden stick, stands atop a microphone stand. The stick contains long strings tied on each end with a wooden ping pong-sized-ball attached. As the stick rotates, the balls hit a block on the floor, creating a hollow knocking sound.

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Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno, a robot band.
Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno, a robot band. VOA

Beck said a computer is at the heart of the self-playing instruments.

“Most of this stuff is controlled by the computer. The computer can translate voltage signals, so the robots are controlled by the voltage, that is controlled by the computer,” Beck said.

Playing in an experimental band with a robot orchestra is not the same as playing in a traditional one, said Nico Siereg, the other Joasihno member.

“It’s a little bit different because you also have in mind that there are machines playing with you, so there’s no reaction from them.”

Siereg said in some ways, once the robots are programmed, he is free to focus on what he is playing and even improvise. The musician said he can envision future scenarios in which technology plays a greater role in creating different types of music; but, he voiced hope that “real music won’t die.”

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Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno. They've been playing experimental music in Joasihno for two years.
Cico Beck and Nico Siereg were drummers in an indie rock band prior to this experimental band called Joasihno. They’ve been playing experimental music in Joasihno for two years. VOA

Even if the robots are not taking over the music world, Beck said it is undeniable that in the 21st century, music and technology are intertwined.

“Technology is like a very important tool that even, very often, it’s also a very important part of inspiration,” he added.

Joasihno performed several shows at the now-concluded music festival and tech conference known as South by Southwest, held in Austin, Texas. The experimental band is hoping its high-tech use of instrumentals will be music to one’s ears. VOA

Next Story

Music Composer A.R. Rahman Feels That Indie and English Music Need To Be Nurtured

NEXA Music will kick off with the launch of four original tracks sung by acclaimed celebrity artists Rahman, Anushka Manchanda, Nikhil D'souza and Uday Benegal

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A.R Rahman. Wikimedia

Veteran music composer A.R. Rahman has said that Indie and English music have always been like an underdog in India but it needs to be helped and nurtured in coming years.

Rahman was interacting with the media at a press conference of Nexa Music launch along with artists Uday Benegal, Clinton Cerejo, Anushka Manchanda, Nikhil D’souza and R S Kalsi, senior executive director-marketing and sales Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday in Mumbai.

The initiative by NEXA is curated to provide aspiring Indian musicians a platform to compose original lyrics. NEXA Music invites entries from budding musicians across the country to participate in it.

The participants will be mentored by famous music composers and global music icon A R Rahman, supported by singer Clinton Cerejo.

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When asked if he feels that English and Indie music in India is going to capture the market, he said, “It needs to be helped and it needs to be nurtured. I think nothing is wrong with film music. It’s beautiful but it has been commissioned like, there you have to write for a situation and those are limited but I think here whole universe is your imagination.”

“Sometimes Indie music actually inspires movies and I want that to happen. I want a song from Indie music to go in film music. It is not a compulsion but I feel people’s mind should never be closed.”

When asked what benefit singers and musicians are going to get through Nexa Music, he said, “They are mainly going to get exposure from this venture. We are not telling many things because we don’t want to promise too much and not deliver. This is just the first step and second step is something on which we are working on.”

NEXA Music will kick off with the launch of four original tracks sung by acclaimed celebrity artists Rahman, Anushka Manchanda, Nikhil D’souza and Uday Benegal. (IANS)