Musica Automata is an album that brings together two dimensions often perceived as incompatible: the boundless expressive possibilities of electronics implemented by an acoustic instrumental body in a sensory reality, beating, vibrating, and blowing.
An orchestra of automated instruments – robots – controlled by digital impulses. This ensemble of musical robots (part of the Logos foundation in Ghent) includes numerous classical instruments as well as many unconventional instruments, making it the largest orchestra of robots in existence.
The expressive possibilities of these instruments, thanks to their many controllable parameters, are innumerable: in fact, these are not limited to note control, but also dynamics, sound envelope, microtonal control and much more.
If it is true that an electronic instrument can foster compositional invention, exploring where the musician, due to anatomical limits, cannot go, it is equally true that the sound produced by a vibration in real space has physical characteristics that make the sonic uniqueness of every single event fascinating. The second aspect is the precise control of every detail of the performance. Traditionally, the composer entrusts the score to the musicians, who perform it by translating the signs into actions. In this scenario, an ineliminable gap emerges between the author's concept and the sound event.
This, in the case of Musica Automata, does not happen: Leonardo was able to calibrate and draw every tonal detail for every single note played. What you hear, therefore, is the exact and arbitrary snapshot of the musical fact imagined by the author who, in doing so, also becomes the performer of his own work.
To be faithful to the performance of the pieces, Leonardo has chosen a radical approach: no artificial processing has been added in post-production, even the reverberations of the instruments are those recorded in the real environment and with them, the sounds of the moving robots that become part of the music itself.