robotcowboy is a one-man band musical project using custom hardware and software running on a wearable computer. In its first incarnation, titled cabled madness, it is an attempt to meld rock with realtime algorithmic composition tools into a dynamic live show. A MIDI guitar, crazy control devices, various masks, and synchronized visuals make for a new new wave experience.
See the main project page here: robotcowboy.com
What People Are Saying
He was a completely self-contained one-man band, who played and triggered all of his music utilizing methods I had never encountered. … The songs were very structured and melodic, in a complex yet simple listening sense. His name, "robotcowboy", really fit the type of music he was playing. ... I truly felt I was witnessing "The Future". Wow.
selections from the consoles afire tour cd 2 (Jan-Feb 07)
selections from the suboptimal summer tour cd (Jun-Jul 09)
The sound is meant to be gritty, noisy, and melodic. Unlike the cold precision of most electronic music, care has been taken to incorporate the frailty of the live human performer. Live musicians make mistakes and this fact adds an element of excitement to the music and robotcowboy songs are constructed using parts generated in realtime as the performer plays.
Music videos by Sofy Yuditskaya
Bio / Motivations
Dan Wilcox is a computer engineer by trade and a musician by heart. He has been playing in bands for over 6 years, most notably the Surf-DEVO 7inchWave. Computer software and electronics are becoming his musical tools of choice nowadays. He is influenced by DEVO, The Residents, Sun Ra, Raymond Scott, and others. He enjoys old Sci-Fi including the 1950's radio show, X-1.
robotcowboy is his Master's thesis in Art & Technology at Chalmers in Göteborg, Sweden. Coming from his punk and rock roots in America, Dan's Swedish studies opened him towards the avant garde noise and experimental music in Göteborg. This expanding of horizons led him to develop the idea of a dynamic, computer-based one-man band rock show. robotcowboy is his stab towards the future as well as a critique of laptop dj/vj sets and live computer sound. In the world of robotcowboy, the man and machine are merged into an imperfect cyborg entity, the sweat and feeling of man and the cold logic of machine.
- Gigahertz Fest, ZKM | Center for Art & Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe DE Nov 2017
- performed and presented, OnSite Digital Performance Festival, Taipei, TW Oct 2012
- Pure Data Conference 10, Bauhaus Uni, Weimar, DE Aug 2011
- presented at LiWoli 2010: The Art of "Doing it Together", Kunstuniversität Linz, Linz DE 2010
- Tactics & Practices Festival, Lulbjana, SI July 2010
- Mapping Festival, Geneva, CH June 2010
- performed during the Ars Electronica Festival 09 using the Ars Electronica building led facade, Linz, AT Sep 2009
- SubOptimal Summer 09, mini Western Europe tour Jun-Jul 2009
- performed and presented at the New Media Meeting, Norrköping, SE May 2009
- Altavoz Electronic Music Festival, Venice, IT May 2009
- STRP Media Art Festival, Eindhoven, NL Apr 2009
- STEIM Micro Music Jamboree 2, Amsterdam, NL Dec 2008
- Signal+Noise 08 Festival in Vancouver, CA Apr 2008
- Consoles Afire Tour 08, a nearly 2 month tour of the United States Jan-Feb 2008
- artistic residency at the Studio for Electro Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam, NL Oct 2007
- Pure Data Conference 07 in Montreal, CA Aug 2007
- Norberg Electronic Musical Festival in Norberg, SE July 2007
- performed at the Cabaret Voltaire, Digital Art Weeks 07 Festival in Zurich, CH July 2007
robotcowboy also has two signature mixed drinks! rc urban rc rural @ DAW 07 Zurich
robotcowboy consists of a wearable computer system and custom hardware and software. The machine itself is a commercial industrial wearable computer running the GNU/Linux Ubuntu operating system. All audio processing and generation is performed in Pure Data, a graphical multimedia programming language. Data from my MIDI guitar, gamepad, and wrist keyboard are routed to Pure Data by custom software. The visual program running on the robotcowboy helmet is a simple, custom sprite engine. The robotcowboy helmet and led mask are both handmade.