Music Automats

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‘Music Automats’ grew out of the project NOOSTOPIA, a dance and theatre piece, I created together with the choreographer Moritz Ostruschnjak for Theater Bielefeld. The work is a interactive robotic sound installation that consists of several robotic instruments. The robots could be controlled in various ways, which includes using real-time live control and pre-programmed control. The programming mode allows you to write and play back music using nothing but a Midi editor/sequencer.


‘Music Automats’ is an autonomous robotic sound installation. The piece is comprised of several robotic instruments, constructed from acoustic instruments, everyday objects, motors, electronic components, wooden and metal parts. LEDs on the instruments visualize the sound. The result is a fully automated futuristic sound world which is also visually unique due to the self-built instruments and robots. The work explores the co-evolution of humans and machines, a future which we already find ourselves in the midst of.

The installation raises questions such as, should technology be viewed as a new life form, sharing our ecosystem and coevolving with us? Is a symbiotic co-evolution of human and technology more likely than a loss of humanity?

Music Automats
Year of Creation: 2020
Size: 200 cm x 180 cm
Technique: wooden parts, music instruments, beakers, metal parts, laser-cut parts, motors, solenoids, LEDs, controllers, electronics, cables, software, computer
Duration: variable

Video Documentation

I also uploaded the video to YouTube.


Idea, Concept and Design: Martin Backes
Production: Studio Martin Backes in collaboration with Theater Bielefeld
Development and Programming Robot Units: Martin Backes
Technical Assistant: Ivan Ivanov
Client: Theater Bielefeld / Tanz Bielefeld

Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia in cooperation with the NRW KULTURsekretariat.

More Information

Noostopia – Dance and Theatre Piece