Leonardo Barbadoro is enthralled by the boundary between electronics and acoustics. A composer, engineer, and producer based in Florence, who believes that making music isn’t just for human hands. On his new album, ‘Musica Automata’, out 3 November 2023, he showcases exactly that by programming, but never actually playing, the world’s largest robotic orchestra. Recorded at Logos Foundation in Belgium, Barbadoro’s automated arrangements include an organ, percussive, woodwind, brass, and other, unconventional instruments that write and play music by themselves. Previously known as Koolmorf Widesen, Barbadoro first unveiled his eccentric electro-acoustic experimentation at Tomorrowland in 2019. Released via Helical Records, his full album ‘Musica Automata’ is finally here.
Pre-programmed and controlled remotely by Leonardo, many of the production parameters on ‘Musica Automata’ include compositional possibilities impossible for human anatomy. Where cascading, robotic crescendos meet ‘organic’ whispers. The album subtly straddles the line between a gradual exploration of timbre and improvised harmonic, and rhythmic melodies; instead of relying on pure concept or experimentation. What is heard on the album, and the featured track ‘Vibi’, is a precise and incidental composite of Barbadoro’s core concept. Written for the vibraphone, ‘Vibi’ trembles and twinkles with the mannerisms of a Rube Goldberg machine. It features a custom experiential delay, created by Barbadoro but used by the instrument itself to create and perform the bouncing effect; without human manipulation.
“‘Musica Automata’ represents a turning point in my compositional and instrumental research. It is music that brings together two dimensions often perceived as incompatible, even antithetical: the boundless expressive possibilities of electronics implemented by an acoustic instrumental body in a sensory reality, beating, vibrating, and blowing”, said Leonardo Barbadoro about his new album.
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