The robots are coming

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The robots are coming

Brighter Sound is excited to be a part of the Manchester Science Festival, presenting new music commissioned for the Robot Orchestra.

This Wednesday 26 October, drop in to the Museum of Science and Industry to see Manchester’s Robot Orchestra perform alongside human musicians, performing pieces composed by Family Ranks, LayFullStop, Caro C and percussionist Uno Prism.

The Robot Orchestra is an experiment to bring people together to create, collaborate and care for the planet. It was dreamed up by engineer, Professor Danielle George and citizen science innovator, Dr Erinma Ochu based at The University of Manchester. They were inspired by people making instruments from recycled materials and so embarked on an ambitious project to build a robot orchestra from discarded machines, technologies and musical instruments to help Manchester celebrate its status as European City of Science.*

Over the past year they’ve hosted a number of ‘hack days’ with the support of partners Noisy Toys, working with university students, school children and community groups to design and build robots from scratch.

Professor Danielle George said, “I want to showcase the ingenuity, creativity and revolutionary spirit of the people of Manchester, and to explore how a city might creatively re-engineer and spread environmental and creative practices through performance.”

The robots include ‘electronic brains’, machines that create music by playing real instruments such as the cello, as well as redundant technology such as computer floppy disk drives or fans which create sounds. The orchestra will be conducted by a life-sized robot called ‘Graphene’ designed and built by Siemens.

Working with The University of Manchester, Brighter Sound commissioned seven-piece collective Family Ranks and Manchester-based artist LayFullStop to compose original music to be performed and toured with the Robot Orchestra. Over the past few months, they’ve been composing, programming and rehearsing alongside Noisy Toys’ Steve Sumners, creating music that is unlike anything they have written before. The new pieces will be unveiled at The Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday 26 October, with three performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The event is free and no booking is required. #robotsarecoming

Family Ranks is a seven-piece collective fusing Soul, Hip-Hop, Electronica and Reggae. Whether in the studio or on stage they consistently take listeners on a journey through lush expansive compositions, dark hard-hitting grooves and euphoric festival-anthems. Family Ranks have recently supported Natty on his ‘Release The Fear’ UK tour and performed at the Craig Charles ‘Mostly Jazz Festival’. Their EP ‘Speak Up’ released in April this year has been played on BBC Introducing Manchester, Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 6 Music.

@FamilyRanks | |

Layfullstop, also known as Mancunion’s ‘Soulstress’ is known for spraying the nicest bars whilst hitting the high notes with Badu-esque style and grace. A member of the Cul De Sac movement, the rising ‘babbler’ is set to bring back soulistic vibes to the 0161. |

The Manchester Science Festival takes place in a number of venues across Manchester from 20-30 October, intertwining worlds of science, art, performance, craft and conversations.

*Information about The Manchester Robot Orchestra and quote first published by The University of Manchester: