Robot Canon is a musical performance composed for and operated by one man and three robotic xylophones. The project stems from the creation of music through melodic layering, phase-shifting, and the repetition of minimal melodies. Robot Canon expresses the arduous and laborious relationship between man and machine.
Three identical robotic xylophones were built to play four different melodies in the composition. The xylophones allow for multiple melodies to be played, layered, and thrown out of phase; something a single musician would be incapable of performing. The operator of the xylophones has control over which melodies are being played, when to start or stop them, and has the ability to adjust the delay between each loop of a melody, so that he or she can experiment with phase-shifting on the fly.
Robot Canon was first performed at Exit Art in New York City.