Stepper Rattle

Improvised performance

More about this instrument

Noplace

Excerpt from Fusebox 2017 at Big Medium, Austin, TX

2017 NIME Festival in Copenhagen

The aural score, incorporating several of my invented robotic musical instruments, accompanies live projections from closed circuit cameras, synced animations, motorized zoetropes, and the shifting shadows produced by an ensemble of mechanical devices.

The title, Noplace, is taken from the literary interpretation of Thomas More’s Utopia and the score is based on the second half of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Through musical and visual interpretations of this narrative, I explore my own settled and unsettled feelings about prosperity, safety, identity, and what it means to be at “home”.

Rustling

2017 SoundSpace – The Blanton Museum of Art
Matthew Steinke: Robotics and shrubbery
Rosalyn Nasky: Movement

My Cubical

2016 SoundSpace – The Blanton Museum of Art
Matthew Steinke: Robotics, Harmonic Guitar, eGuitar, Percussion

steinke blanton museum of art

Live on KUTX

2016

Improvisations and Variation of “In C” by Terri Riley and “Workers Union” by Louis Andriessen
Steve Parker Trombone and Conch Shell
Matthew Steinke: Robotics and Electric Lamellophone

Video of in “In C” variation below.

Mechanical Memories

2014 Avante Gardens, Houston, TX

This performance with eGuitar and robotic ensemble incorporates mechanical memory devices such as a disc playing music box, percussion, toy piano, and harmonium controlled by a laptop. My role involves mediating the mechanical melodies and percussion cycles by improvising harmonies on the guitar and mixing the instruments in the ensemble in and out. The guitar has built-in drivers to make the strings drone automatically. It is also triggering sounds wirelessly in the software.

The Stringboard

2003, Chicago, IL SAIC

Performance with prepared string instrument, modified toy box, and algorithmic sampler device

Mockaoke

2003 Chicago, IL, Pack Edge Sound Festival

For the Pack Edge Festival, I improvised with this hybrid percussion robot which has an integrated sampler and an embedded microprocessor. Audio is sampled at the input, cut up, and then mapped to programmed algorithmic rhythms in the firmware. These generated rhythms are then augmented by synched acoustic percussion. I am playing a cassette tape player with its lid removed and its output feed into the input of Mockaoke. I am pushing the play button in and out and manipulating the speed and pitch of the recording by pushing on the tape player’s capstan while it plays back.