Roth Michaels


Introduction, Roth as Software Developer

Creative software developer with a passion for using and developing open-source software, new technologies, and in programming as an art form. A specialist in multimedia and mobile applications, concurrency, and real-time programming with 6+ years of experience developing software for artists, and business, has created a unique skill for quickly learning new environments, languages, and SDKs. Independently driven and always comfortable taking a leadership role in any project. Spending time living with other developers has nurtured an ability to to take command of development in a positive and constructive way.

Composer, Musician, Laptop Shaman

Improviser and composer Roth Michaels spends much of his time exploring ways that digital technolog and new media can inform the compositional process while staying true to both his background in jazz and his love for acoustic music and the sounds of the natural world. Roth has been a member of many jazz, new music, and cross-genre imrovisation ensembles, ranging in size from duos to big bands, in cities across New England and New York. In addition to developing his own solo electroacoustic vibraphone/keyboard act, Roth has most recently been performing with The Dartmouth Contempory Music Lab, Punkte, and the Mary Anne Driscoll Septet. At times Roth's exploration into performance, compositnal forms, and the relationship betweeen audience, improvisers, and live electronics has lead him to explore other media outside the concert hall from his interactive installations to performances in non-traditional spaces.

After receiving his B.A. in music composition from Brandeis University in 2007, Roth co-taught a graduate seminar on composing music with live electronics using Max/MSP at Brandeis and has lectured elsewhere on topics in electronic music, acoustics, and improvisation. Currently pursuing an M.A. in Digital Musics at Dartmouth College, Roth is researching and developing new real-time digital signal processing algorithms to compliment artificial intelligence and machine learning systems for performing with live electronics. Roth has studied composition, jazz, and improvisation with Mary Anne Driscoll, Al Delgado, Bob Nieske, Derek Hurst, Eric Chasalow, Tom Hall, Hans Tutschku, and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovaky and studied Digital Signal Processing (DSP) with Michael Casey.

Personal Research

As a musician, composer, and improviser, much of my work involves performing with acoustic instruments combined with live electronics. My love of programming grew out of a necessity to create the software tools necessary for my art. My work contrasts with the work of many in the field of improvising with computers in a parallel way to the differences between the Artificial Intelligence and the Augmented Human Intellect research groups at Stanford in the 50s and 60s. While many composers and improvisers treat the computer as a separate member of the ensemble, I am interested in using technology to augment not only the sound work created by our acoustic instruments, but the physical and mental prowess of the performers. In addition to writing my own DSP algorithms to to create the sounds in this music, I am also researching how machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques can be used to train software for specific compositions and to adapt to changes in an improvised performance. Related to this concept is my interest in exploring chaotic over stochastic algorithms for parameter control. From 2009 to 2012 I led an electroacoustic free improvisation duo to explore my software research. I am now currently writing music for solo performance to further develop these ideas. In addition to developing software for this project, I also pursue research into the philosophy of performance and the implications of using digital technology in art.

Skills, Polyglot Developer, Digital Ronin


Mac OS X, Linux (Debian/Ubuntu), and Windows XP/7+cygwin


Xcode, Eclipse, emacs, Matlab


C/C++/Objective-C/Swift and OS X/iOS SDKs, Java, Clojure, JavaScript, PureData, Max/MSP/Jitter and the C/Java/JavaScript SDKs, OpenGL Shader Language (beginning), HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, XML, Python, Node.js, ActionScript, octave, bash scripting, LaTeX, Markdown, Processing, Arduino, Emacs LISP, Scheme, ChucK, can read x86 assembly, and brief study of Audiounit, JUCE, and VST SDKs.


DSP, Functional Programming, Maven and Leiningen, Object-oriented Design (OOP), Real-time Programming, Test Driven Development, Version Control (git, Subversion, CVS)