logo

Research Statement

blue dots
Michael Krzyzaniak is a Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts + Sciences at Arizona State University. He studies human-robot interaction in musical contexts, and build machines that play musical instruments. He develops techniques that allow the machines to learn how to play by listening to humans play. He also studies human movement and develops responsive audio environments for dance works.

Autobiography

blue dots
Michael Krzyzaniak Playing the piano at Orphean Sculptures I am a composer of cutting edge art music, a roboticist, and computer programmer. I am a proud high-school dropout. In the early days I spent my time hitchhiking around the country, cooking professionally and going on multi-day backcountry mountain biking trips in Colorado and Utah. During that time I studied Italian and eventually travelled to Italy and rode my bike circuitously from Rome up to the Austrian border, just camping as I went. I subsequently received a Bachelor's degree in music composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I was awarded a Robert Fink Scholarship for Music Theory. I wrote lots of music there (some of which is archived on this site), and recorded my first album, Horas de Verano. After I graduated, I moved to Santa Barbara, California where I owned and operated a small electronic music studio called 'Orphean Sculptures', which was 3 blocks from the beach. During that time I wrote an hour long ballet for orchestra, a two hour opera for orchestra, chorus and soloists, many smaller chamber works, and recorded an album of interesting transcriptions of Schubert Songs with the tenor Peter DeSimone. I also started intensely studying computer-programming during this period. After that, I received a Master's degree in music composition from the University of Georgia. During that period, I was a tenor in the acclaimed Collegium Musicum at UGA, with whom I gave performances in Spain, Portugal, and at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival. At UGA, I worked as a graduate research assistant at Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE), which is an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts. In this capacity I turned sonar images of sculptures into music and video, programmed an $11,000 humanoid robot to interact with theatre majors, founded an interdisciplinary student group Idea Lab, and collaborated on an award-winning project that explored the very nature of collaboration itself. I then moved to Arizona to get a Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University's school of Arts, Media + Engineering. There I built a djembe robot named Kiki, and developed machine learning algorithms to control the robot. I also collaborated extensively with Julie Akerly and many other people to develop several large dance works involving computer-music and sensors placed on the dancers' bodies. Two of these were shown at the Athens Slingshot Festival in Georgia. I am currently looking for a research position in interdisciplinary art / science / technology / media / psycho-linguistico-musico-robotics, so that I can write emotionally provocative computer code.