The bots aren’t just coming, they’ve arrived! Some thoughts from ArtofBots


I posted about Bots before. I think that they’re really interesting and could be creatively useful and even inspiring both in and with music making apps.

Well just to prove a point, here’s a real life example of bots doing just that. The photo above was taken at the AND (Abandon Normal Devices) show ‘Art of Bots’. It was a small event at Somerset house that showcased a range of creatively focussed bots and also featured a little bot making workshop too.

From my perspective the most interesting bot was the @graphicscorebot which tweets randomised musical scores once an hour. The bot was created by Emma, who you might remember from my post about her recent live show.

At this event Emma was improvising for about 8 hours each day for the two days of the event as directed by the bot. Not the easiest thing to do in my opinion, but it was really good.

And you can hear a little bit of the output right here:

This is what Emma has to say about it:

“A recording of some of the live improvisation (of which there was 16 hours in total!) prompted by, which was premiered at Abandon Normal Devices’ The Art of Bots from the 15th to 16th of April.

Performers are Emma Winston (the bot’s creator), Dan Mayfield, and Mark Williamson, all playing various synths and other devices. This was recorded live on an iPad mini and roughly mastered in Ableton, so the quality is not wonderful, but I hope you enjoy it anyway! You can learn more about GraphicScoreBot at, see it on Twitter at, and download the open-source code to tinker with yourself at

By their nature, the scores are generated on the fly and have infinite variations, so it’s unfortunately not possible to show you exactly what we were playing from at the time.”

I think it shows that there are some really interesting potential applications for bots in the creative world and that it isn’t something that should be confined to facebook messenger and chat bots.

It has also given me a couple of new ideas for my own bot, @RandomBus, which tweets random audiobus set ups every hour. But more of that soon, or possibly not so soon depending on how my ideas pan out.

I need to also add that there were a range of other bots on show, many of which were very cool indeed, but I’ve chosen to focus on @graphicscorebot here. If you’re interested in finding out more about the others on show then check out the event page here.

I’m really interested to hear how anyone else is using bots in creative music, so if you’re doing that, or if you have ideas, please do get in touch.

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