Monday, June 9, 2008

Robot Orchestra Performance

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

An entirely robotic orchestra played George Antheil’s score to the Dadaist film Ballet mécanique alongside the film itself for the first time on Saturday June 7, 2008.

Antheil — “the bad boy of music, an enfant terrible” of his time, according to fanboy Paul Lehrman (the MIDI expert responsible for programming aforementioned robots) — originally wrote the piece in the twenties for synchronized player pianos (the robots of their time) except the whole synchronization thing wasn't quite possible with the then-available technology.

The performance involved eight pianos, xylophones, a gong, bass drums, electric bells, a siren, and airplane propellers hanging from the ceiling, all played by robots. -- New York Mag

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