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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

See It to Believe It

I've heard of instrument-playing robots. Actually... correction. I've seen and heard, live in person, a trumpet-playing robot. I even have a picture to prove it!

While in Washington, D.C. last spring I paid a visit to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. At the time, they were showcasing an all encompassing exhibit on how ancient Japanese traditions are being layered with modern sensibility and technological innovation to create culture. This included the wizardry of robots. Instrument-playing robots. A pretty intriguing sight, I have to admit.

Recently I came across this video, wherein robotic instruments perform George Antheil's infamous piece, Ballet Mécanique. Fascinating, with a hint of creepiness at the same time. Is this the future of orchestras? A consideration for pre-concert lobby entertainment? I'm not fully convinced... yet. Perhaps I'll just have to see it in person first, to really truly believe it... and accept it!


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