R11 vs. The AI ​​robot

General agenda Culture

BODEGRAVEN – On Friday January 27, composer/arranger Bob Zimmerman (including Süskind, Metropole Orkest and the TV show Maestro) and percussionist and composer Rob Verdurmen (Willem Breuker Kollektief and Zuidelijk Toneel) will join their musical forces and ideas for the realization of a performance about the use of digital technology in science fiction film music. Organizer Bob Zimmerman interviews organizer Bob Zimmerman.

Say Bob, ‘R11 vs. The AI ​​Robot’, that’s a rather complicated and obscure title! What is it about?

Well, Bob, I’ll explain it to you in detail. ‘R11’ is the name of the band that will play in Evertshuis in Bodegraven on Friday 27 January. “Vs.” is English and means ‘against’ or ‘opposite’. That ‘AI’ stands for ‘artificial intelligence’. We have a real robot that can compose, you don’t know what you hear! Because of that AI, she was named ‘AIMÉE’ by her designer, the brilliant Wout Bremer. In other words, in the performance, live musicians compete against a composing robot, and the question is who will win it on Friday!

You hear a lot about that at the moment, AI or AI, computers that can generate texts themselves and so on. It’s something completely different with students who have to write essays… they call it ChatGTP. Can AIMÉE also compose so deceptively well?

And fast too! If you enter a short theme, there will be a few minutes of music in sheet music on your computer screen in seconds, also audible if you want, with as many instruments as you want. Creepy for us composers and arrangers! Will we soon run out of bread?

And what will the audience hear about this on January 27 in Evertshuis?

I won’t tell you yet… but they will definitely hear it! Fortunately, the band R11 also plays great live music, as it should be!

R11 definitely consists of eleven musicians, or do you prefer to say musicians?

It doesn’t mean much. No, R11 consists of seven players: three wind players, two strings and two percussionists. To be honest, we don’t really know why we’re called ‘R11’ anymore. Well, that R doesn’t stand for Robot, but for Rob; Rob Verdurmen has been the regular drummer for Willem Breuker Kollektief for decades and the inventor of all this beauty. He is also the composer of much of the music that will be played on January 27th at the Evertshuis, or did I mention that? Starts at 8 p.m.

And what kind of music will we hear that isn’t composed by a robot?

To stay with the theme: wonderful music from science fiction movies like ‘Star Wars’, ‘I Robot’ and ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. I then arranged it for the seven players on R11. Film music is really my thing! And also completely new own compositions by Rob Verdurmen, our drummer, inspired by science fiction music.

OK, wind instruments, strings, percussionists… sounds like a kind of mini-orchestra.

Yes, and certainly not least! It was a pleasure for me to write for them. The multiwind players (especially saxophones) are David Kweksilber, Alex Coke and Rutger van Otterloo. Then there is cellist Susanne Rosmolen and double bass player Quirijn van Regteren Altena. Percussionist Tatiana Koleva and our composing drummer Rob Verdurmen complete the composition.

I am beginning to understand what we are about to hear. But you’re talking about soundtracks, do we want to see something too?

Naturally! We have Martijn Grootendorst as live ‘VJ’, video jockey. He designed beautiful images, graphics and even short, surprising film clips. Sound artist Guido Nieuwdorp makes the band sound beautiful and we have been advised by director Saskia Bonarius before the event on stage.

A ticket costs 10 euros. Visit www.evertshuis.nl for more information and maps.

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