Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remko Scha


This record presents music emerging out of simple mechanical processes. The machine configurations employed are shown in the accompanying diagrams. Most of the tracks use uniformly moving sabre saws with ropes or flexible metal rods attached. The standing waves created in these attachments hit the strings of electric guitars. On track B4, a rotating metal brush operates directly on a guitar string. All pieces are autonomously played by the machines, without human control or interference.

All pieces recorded by the composer, September 1981- March 1982, at Apollo House, Eindhoven, except B$ recorded by Mark Abbott, April 1980, at WKCR-FM 89.9, Columbia University, New York. Mastered by Roland Smits and Theo van Eenbergen, July 1982, at 'Rauchende Colts', Nuenen.

Liner Notes

Remko Scha (b. 1948) Machine Guitars (1982)
  1. Shake
  2. Throb
  3. Thrash
  4. Switch
  5. Stroke
  6. Sweep
  7. Slam
  8. Brush

Guitar Mural 1 (featuring the Machines) (1981)
  1. Side A
  2. Side B

Remko J. H. Scha is a professor of computational linguistics at the faculty of humanities and Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam. He is also an internationally renowned composer and performer of algorithmic art.

He has also made recordings of music which has been generated by motor-driven machines. One example of this type of music is his 1982 album of electric guitar music,"Machine Guitars", on which all guitars are played by mechanized saber saws, without human intervention. For the last track the guitar is played by an automated rotating wire brush.

Remko Scha was also closely involved with Het Apollohuis together with Paul Panhuysen. 


Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics. Faculty of Letters, University of Groningen. Groningen, the Netherlands, 1983. (Promotors: Joyce Friedman and Frank Heny.)
Engineering Degree in Physics. Specialization areas: Computer Science, Information Theory, Auditory Perception. Technological University Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 1970.

Employment History

Professor of Computational Linguistics. Faculty of Humanities & Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1988 - present.
Visiting Professor. Linguistics Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel. 1990.
Manager of Natural Language Group. Speech and Signal Processing Department / Artificial Intelligence Department, BBN Laboratories, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 1985 - 1988.
Senior Scientist. Artificial Intelligence Department, BBN Laboratories, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1984.
Visiting Professor. Artificial Intelligence Department (SWI), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1983-1984.
Research Scientist. Computer Science Department, Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. 1975-1983.
Research Scientist. Advanced Systems Development Department, Philips Electrologica, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. 1970-1975.

Selected Professional Activities

Advisory Board Member, NWO Pionier Project "Music Mind Machine", NICI, Nijmegen University (KUN).

Theme Group Leader "Probabilistic Natural Language Processing", NWO Priority Programme "Language and Speech Technology", 1991–2000.

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Semantics, 1988–1995.

Board Member, Dutch Society for Artificial Intelligence (NVKI), 1981–1984.