Two Ways to Bring Shakespeare Into the Twenty-First Century

The New Yorker

For the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Gregory Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, wanted to dazzle. He turned to "The Tempest," the late romance that includes flying spirits, a shipwreck, a vanishing banquet, and a masque-like pageant that the magician Prospero stages to celebrate his daughter's marriage. "The Tempest" was performed at the court of King James I, and it may have been intended in part to showcase the multimedia marvels of Jacobean court masques. "Shakespeare was touching on that new form of theatre," Doran told me recently, over the phone. "So we wanted to think about what the cutting-edge technology is today that Shakespeare, if he were alive now, would be saying, 'Let's use some of that.' " The politics behind Shakespeare and stage illusion are more fraught than usual these days.

A Survey of Robotic Musicianship

Communications of the ACM

The term'robotic musicianship' may seem like an oxymoron. The first word often carries negative connotations in terms of artistic performance and can be used to describe a lack of expressivity and artistic sensitivity. The second word is used to describe varying levels of an individual's ability to apply musical concepts in order to convey artistry and sensitivity beyond the facets of merely reading notes from a score. To understand the meaning of robotic musicianship, it is important to detail the two primary research areas of which it constitutes: Musical mechatronics, which is the study and construction of physical systems that generate sound through mechanical means;15 and machine musicianship, which focuses on developing algorithms and cognitive models representative of various aspects of music perception, composition, performance, and theory.31 Robotic musicianship refers to the intersection of these areas.