Acclaimed Greek saxophonist, composer and researcher Dimitris Vassilakis will jam with Shimon the Robot, a robotic marimba player developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, in a unique show at the Athens Concert Hall on November 7.
The duo will present songs from the robot’s first personal album, “Shimon Sings” and songs from Vassilakis’ award-winning album “Labyrinth.” The concert will be the first international demonstration of the robot’s new singing capabilities by performing songs that its creator, Gil Weinberg, wrote.
The ensemble is composed of saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, drums, guitar and laptop. Shimon uses AI and machine learning to listen to, understand and respond to human musicians.
Jazz, as a universal language of great complexity and a strong storytelling nature, resembles natural language, as this is expressed in spontaneous prose, poetry and creative writing. Dimitri Vassilakis’ research is called jazz mapping: It concerns the mapping of the language of jazz and aims to highlight its narrative character, by offering artificial intelligence the necessary tools for understanding the process of machine learning.
The research is carried out at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA) and the “Demokritos” National Centre for Scientific Research, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the USA, where the Shimon robot is being developed. The concert presentation at Megaron includes compositions written specifically for the Simon robot by Gil Weinberg, its creator, and Dimitri Vassilakis.
The ensemble is composed of saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, drums, guitar and laptop. As a member of the jazz ensemble, the Shimon Robot accompanies and improvises both on the marimba and by singing.
Shimon is a robotic marimba player developed by the Robotic Musicianship Group at Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. It uses AI and machine learning to listen to, understand, respond to, and collaborate with human musicians.
The concert at the Megaron in Athens will be the first international demonstration of Shimon’s new singer-song-writing capabilities. Trained on a large dataset of lyrics from different genres, Shimon will perform songs that it wrote, featuring its novel synthesized voice.
As far as the research part is concerned, “Pasipphe’s Dance” from the award-winning album “Labyrinth – Daedalus Project” for the historic Candid Records – re-released with bonus tracks Live at Birdland New York – will be presented, in which Shimon Robot will improvise based on the data from the “jazz mapping” research of D. Vassilakis in the postgraduate program of the Department of Music Studies of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens in collaboration with Georgia Tech and National Centre for Scientific Research DEMOKRITOS.
The Concert Hall is a creative arena for cultural and educational activities, an arts centre organised along contemporary lines to promote the role of culture in the community.
We are committed to ensuring that all events staged at the Concert Hall are of the highest quality. The programmes consist largely but by no means exclusively of classical music and opera, complemented by more contemporary compositions, works from around the world, music by younger composers, as well as dance, theatre, cinema and the visual arts. Greek music will always play an important part in the programmes we offer.