Client: Absolut Vodka Date: 2007
Location: On tour
ABSOLUT CHOIR looks and sounds like no choir you are likely to have ever experiences before. In setting up an advanced framework of speech synthesizers, Teenage Engineering has created a multi-channel robotic choir, comprising 22 singing dolls in various shapes and sizes.
See below for details
The Absolut Choir is an architectural installation, showcasing the unmistakable design talent of Teenage Engineering. It consists of 22 colorful wooden characters, varying in size and styles with the smallest one being only 4 inches.
The mother doll holds a master clock, and every character contains a small, embedded Linux device, a DA converter and a speaker, making it possible to distribute sounds and to virtually conduct the members of the choir.
At first sight, what you see is a visual design piece – but as soon as the choir starts singing the participant will realize there is more to this machine. With an advanced software system in the back end of the machine, the overall purpose is to give the user a feeling of high artificial intelligence. The user will perceive the machine as being independently creative, interacting with the user’s own creative mind. At absolut-machines.com online users from around the world can interact with the Absolut Choir.
As the Choir starts singing the user input words to the machine. They show on a screen at the location of the machine – and as the machine “sees” the words, it immediately uses them as a base for musical composition and lyrics generation.
The robotic choir follows the lead of its human partner, and with the help of generative algorithms, the machine engenders a melody, tempo, dynamics, timbre and lyrics inspired by the user-generated input. The composition is also infused with the machine’s current mood and from the most recently analyzed words from previous users. A lot of short words with many consonants may result in a fast arpeggio-like song, while softer words may result in a slower composition.
As a result of a co-production between man and machine, Absolut Choir creates a harmonic, yet surrealistic sound palette.
Check out website at: http://absolutmachines.com.
All Absolut Choir characters are connected to the mother CPU unit via Ethernet and high quality Neutrik power connectors.
Every unit has an internal CPU board, amplifier, speaker and a AC to DC transformer. Some of the units also included stepper motors, solenoids (for knocking sounds) and for controlling LED lights.
Modela has a built in solenoid for making knocking sounds.
From top this column: Mustafa doll, some early sketches, It doll and the first building tests.