Greek beatboxer champion G. Gargalas completes British Council - Greek funded residency

Composer, performer and Greek beatboxer champion Giorgos Gargalas has just completed his one-month residency at the NOVARS Research Centre (Music, SALC), sponsored by the British Council scheme ’ Greek-British short-term scholarship programme 2023 ’, in partnership with the British Embassy Athens and the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY).

As a registered student he spent most of his time at the Sheila Beckles studio experimenting with NOVARS’s own Hordijk system, a unique analogue synthesizer designed and launched by instrument maker and guru Rob Hordjik. Mr Gargalas attended a number of postgraduate courses during his stay and interacted with our postgraduate community.

On November 9th he presented his recent compositions and performance work as part of NOVARS Matinée series #53.

In 2022, Gargalas was invited by Prof Ricardo Climent to participate in his AI for music project entitled Noh Virtual for beatboxer and digital twin and enjoyed the University so much that he decided to come back for more.

That year, Climent trained an AI machine with Gargalas’s beatboxing singing style for 20 hours and his facial and performance body gestures (at VR2 ) so that Gargalas could sing along with a virtual replica of himself.

The AI was trained with the assistance of Dr Hongshuo Fan using IRCAM’s RAVE variational autoencoder and modelled by Manusamo&Bzika. It was presented at Unsupervised #2 festival, the Mantis Festival and at the Science Festival 2022 with 22.000 visits in one week.

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