Ajay Kapur, Co-Principal Investigator

Embracing the age of human computer interactivity, Ajay Kapur blends classical Indian music theory with a modern electronic and experimental groove. Ajay's custom electronics are used to bring melody, harmony, dance and rhythm into the 21st century.

Ajay's work revolves around one question: "How do you make a computer improvise with a human?" Using the rules set forth by Indian classical tradition, Ajay has been driven to build new interfaces for musical expression through extending the classical tabla, dholak and sitar with added microchips and sensor systems, while also designing & building programmable robotic musical instruments.

Ajay Kapur is currently the Director of the Music Technology program (MTIID) at the California Institute of the Arts, as well as the Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts. He is also a Senior Lecturer of Sonic Arts Engineering at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington. He received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2007 from University of Victoria combining computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, music and psychology with a focus on intelligent music systems and media technology. Ajay graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 2002. He has been educated by music technology leaders including Dr. Perry R. Cook, Dr. George Tzanetakis, and Dr. Andrew Schloss, combined with mentorship from robotic musical instrument sculptors Eric Singer and the world famous Trimpin. A musician at heart trained on drumset, tabla, sitar and other percussion instruments from around the world, Ajay strives to push the technological barrier in order to explore new sounds, rhythms and melodies.