Godfried-Willem Raes

"Eary Lis Trimbl"

for an actor rapping vocalist and optional musicians, wintel laptop computers and robot orchestra


This interactive piece for musicians and laptop computers was written for the Logos M&M ensemble in 2002. Although it can stand alone, it was conceived as a part of the authors 'TechnoFaustus' music theatre production. Within 'Technofaustus', it forms act 3.

These robots constitute almost the entire robot orchestra built by the author up to the beginning of the year 2002. The setup on stage takes at least 120 square meters. The musicians should be placed in between the automats. They do not have to be visible nor audible. They are the ghosts of the machines. They and only they make them play. The singer/dancer is positioned central, surrounded by the automats.

Although the duration of the piece is not limited in the software, it should be restricted to somewhere around 10 minutes. The piece is conceived as fully interactive and listens to the musicians acoustic output. The 'score' is completely embedded into the software. The server operator should be a musician, since he is an active performer in this piece, mapping in real time the input data on the participating robots.


Technical requirements:


The musicians provide the input to make the robot orchestra play. If fact we use their instruments merely as interfaces to play the robot orchestra. Thus the direct acoustic output of the instrument is of no importance in this piece. The musicians should attempt to play the robots through their instruments.

A minimum of 1 musician (if only 1, it must be the rapper/dancer/singer) and a maximum of 3 musicians to be selected from the following list:

- electric violin or viola

The output of the violin should be connected to the mixer connected to the pitch to midi device (see further). Feeding the violin audio signal in the PA system is optional but should rather be avoided. It is strongly advised to use a wirelesss audiolink to the audio mixer.

- rapper/dancer/vocalist

With wireless microphone, close miked, so she is free to move around. The receiver should be connected to the audiomixer. Although the pitches are fundamentally free, the lyrics are not. We wrote a piece of non-semantic sound poetry to be used as text material (see further). Since this piece is to be a part of our large scale music-theatre production <Technofaustus>, and the vocalist has the role of the homunkulus, this role is to be performed naked. The singer must stand very unstable, so we designed a special round conical structure whereon she tries (and fails...) continuously to keep equilibrium.

- tuba

With microphone in the bell. The mike should be connected to the audio mixer. A practice mute should be used.

- flute

With wireless clip-on microphone and windshield. The receiver should be connected to the audiomixer.

- guitar

Electric guitar preferred, but acoustic guitar with contact microphone is also possible. The instrument should not be connected to an amplifier, but only to the audiomixer feeding the CQT device.


- Intel laptop PC (minimum Pentium 3 with 512MBytes memory and multiple midi ports).

On one of these PC's (the server) our GMT program "technofaustus.exe" should be installed with all required libaries (DLL and INI files). This program can be obtained for free from the author. There is no software available for the Macintosh. Performers should be instructed in how to use the GMT program. Information is available: either by consulting this website (look for GMT and read the manuals), or by consulting with specialists such as Kristof Lauwers or the author. This runs the main program, reading input from musicians and sending commands to the robots and their microcontrollers. The PC running the software must be equiped with a minimum of 5 different output ports for midi. A single input port is required for the pitch to midi converter. The communication with the robots uses MIDI or UDP/IP.

- Polyphonic pitch to midi converter.

We use a device built by Johannes Taelman in the Logos Labs, based on a DSP processor running a wavelet analysis program. This device is realtime programmable and this capability is used extensively by the program written for the performance of this piece.

The midi in and outputs of this device should be connected to the midi I/O ports corresponding to the settings in the *.ini file for this application. (faust.ini).

- <Invisible Instrument>

The authors sonar or radar based invisible instrument is used to detect the motion of the vocalist on the shaky platform. The data derived from this motion controls the <Dripper> robot as well as the large springs of the <Springers>. The use of this instrument entails the server laptop to be equiped with a National Instruments data acquisition card and the required NIDAQ driver software.

- <Piperola>,<Bourdonola>,<Dripper>

These robots should be connected to the second midi output port selected on GMT startup. The configuration may change over time but can always be found in our composers manual to the M&M orchestra available on the web.

- <Vox Humanola>,<Autosax>

These robots should be connected to the third midi output port selected on GMT startup.

- <Vibi>,<Harma>,<Troms>,<Rotomoton>,<Klung>

These robots should be connected to the first midi output port selected.

- <Harma>, <Player Piano>

These robots should be connected to the fourth midi output port selected on GMT startup.

Note: the port and channel mapping of the M&M orchestra is subject to changes. The most recent mapping can always be found in the machine specific xxx_gmt.ini file on the server laptop as well as in our composers manual to the M&M orchestra available on the web.

- Audio mixer

This mixer (4 into 1, mono is o.k.) is not used for PA purposes but solely to mix the instruments signals into a single mono line to feed the pitch to midi converter. Since the information fed to the converter is of great influence on the musical composition, the mixer should be operated by a knowledgeable musician.

The vocalist should make use of following text:




     Klung prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr     tititititi

Kai  tak kai tok kai plong

Klong brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

              uhu uhu uhu

Toe  koi koi koi koi koi  titititi

Aaaarg chitichiti Kling


Iem Rie Chi Klie kaaaai

Omron tlok pom plong

Iem Rie Chi Klie kooooi

Ayran tlak pam klang

Iem Rie Chi Klie kiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

Ubu Rlok poem Kleng


Maaai roe pleng krie
Saltirka slemper piroet
Amron bonang penit vens
Tiramusi plens ketrembl
Eary Lis pirotri mens


Te Akron boeka mesa
Ma kwezi na kohibo
Tealtra Aarg powechi
Kri mekano kitaba
Uter Ibong klimesi
Tori Iem Akipato trimakti


Tre mino men pakti
Ko nitro mien haa
Kli te taba trimbl
Soni tra te gaa


Lis trem oni jakta
Ke plens nikemi atrong
Kiga nu trumpli me ah
Che poe katu megong


Rialtro nempe trirarom
Peni to gani trebakto
Kali gala nipli poem




First try out: 21.02.2002 - Ghent, Logos Tetrahedron, M&M ensemble, with: Lies Gellynck, Leonaar De Graeve, Karin De Fleyt, Moniek Darge, Kristof Lauwers conducted by the author.

Second version: 19.11.2002 - Ghent, Logos Tetrahedron, M&M ensemble with: Emilie De Vlam, Kristof Lauwers, Moniek Darge, Leonaar De Graeve conducted by the author.

Third version: 28.11.2002 - Enschede, Twenthe University, Tart symposium, with: Emilie De Vlam, Kristof Lauwers, Moniek Darge, Leonaar De Graeve conducted by the author.

Fourth version: 15.12.2002 - Ghent, Logos Tetrahedron, M&M ensemble with: Emilie De Vlam, Moniek Darge, Kristof Lauwers, conducted by the author.

Fifth version: 04.10.2003 - The Hague, Netherlands, M&M ensemble with: Emilie De Vlam, Moniek Darge, Kristof Lauwers, Barbara Buchowiec conducted by the author. [ recorded for VPRO radio]

A recording of the first try out performance is available on CD: LPD008- M&M


Godfried-Willem RAES
Public Domain,february 2002

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