Interacting with Musebots

Musebots are autonomous musical agents that interact with other musebots to create music. Inaugurated in 2015, musebots are now an established practice in the field of musical metacreation, which aims to automate aspects of creative practice. Originally designed to operate in software-only ensembles, the focus of musebot development has been on ensembles of musical agents, coded by a community of developers.

Recent experiments have included humans interfacing with musebot ensembles, including through electronic interfaces in which parametric control of high-level musebot parameters are used, as well as message-based interfaces which allow human users to communicate with musebots in their own language, and finally performance-as-interface and audio-as-interface, in which musebots have jammed with human musicians.

“Interacting with Musebots” is an interactive installation in which a musebot ensemble continuously performs live, but with the potential for human interaction. An iPad touch controller is available for audience members to interact as human performers within the ensemble – an “algoskin” is placed over these actions, allowing seamless interplay with the ensemble.

Pitches are automatically be aligned with the current negotiated musebot harmony. Performance actions are translated into musebot messages, /note and /density, thereby allowing the musebots to adapt their own behaviours in reaction to live input.


The ensemble without human interaction. Note how the solo musebots (electric guitar, synth, brass synth) respond to each other, waiting for a chance to solo, and how the rhythm section (drums, bass, Rhodes) interact with the current soloist.


The ensemble with human interaction. Same rhythm section as above, a rather insistent organ musebot, a mini-moog type synth musebot that tries to find space, with live interaction by a brass synth.


Another human<=>musebot ensemble interaction with the same ensemble as above, but this time the LiveBOT is in rhythmic mode, where it can add rhythmic marimba ostinati on held notes. Plus, an electric guitar musebot deciding to interject occasionally…