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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
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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.

ALSO READ: June 21 is World Music Day: Here is what some Musicians have to say!

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.”

ALSO READ: Is there Science behind Indian Classical Music? Here is how Sounds have Different Effects on Human Body!

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

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YouTube Becomes The Most Used Application For Music: Report

This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face.

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YouTube, Google, google services
The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

If you are listening to music, chances are you’re on YouTube.

A music consumer report by the industry’s global body IFPI published Tuesday found that 86 percent of us listen to music through on-demand streaming.

And nearly half that time, 47 percent is spent on YouTube.

Video as a whole accounted for 52 percent of the time we spent streaming music, posing challenges to such subscription services as Spotify and SoundCloud.

YouTube
The content-sharing platform is also adding a tool, thus, allowing creators to add or remove non-skippable advertisements in bulk. Pixabay

But while Spotify’s estimated annual revenue per user was $20 (17.5 euros), YouTube’s was less than a dollar.

The London-based IFPI issued a broader overview in April that found digital sales for the first time making up the majority of global revenues thanks to streaming.

The report published Tuesday looked into where and when we listen to music.

It found that three in four people globally use smartphones, with the rate among 16- to 24-year-olds reaching 94 percent.

The highest levels were recorded in India, where 96 percent of consumers used smartphones for music, including 99 percent of young adults.

YouTube
YouTube music will separate the movies and music section on the platform. Pixabay

But music does not end when we put away our phones, with 86 percent globally also listening to the radio.

Copyright infringement was still a big issue, with unlicensed music accounting for 38 percent of what was consumed around the world.

“This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face — both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services,” said IFPI chief Frances Moore.

The report noted that “96% of consumers in China and 96% in India listen to licensed music.”

Also Read: Google Maps Gets A New Update That Lets You Access Music

It did not, however, say how many of those consumers also listened to music that infringed copyrights.

Overall, the average consumer spent 2.5 hours a day listening to music, with the largest share of it consumed while driving, the industry report said. (VOA)