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Wednesday, June 6 • 10:00am - 12:00pm
McBlare: A Robotic Bagpipe Player

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McBlare: A Robotic Bagpipe Player
by Roger Dannenberg

"McBlare" is a robotic bagpipe player. It plays an ordinary set of bagpipes using an air compressor to provide air. Electro-magnetic devices power the “fingers” that open and close tone holes to determine the musical pitch. A computer sends control signals to McBlare to operate the “fingers” to play traditional bagpipe tunes as well as new compositions. McBlare can also add authentic sounding ornaments to simple melodies entered through a piano-like keyboard and play the result on the pipes. McBlare was constructed by the Robotics Institute for its 25th Anniversary in 2004. The team that built McBlare includes Ben Brown, Garth Zeglin, and Roger Dannenberg. McBlare has performed in Miami, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and twice flew to Scotland, attending the International Piping Festival in Glasgow in 2006 and an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament in 2013. McBlare has also appeared and performed on the Canadian Broadcasting Company and the BBC Scotland.

A triskelion is a triple spiral design, a reference to McBlare's tripod base. The work was composed using various algorithms to produce effects, such as the long opening trill, that are unplayable by humans.


Wednesday June 6, 2018 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Moss Arts Center - Lawn