Friday in Santa Fe

02010-01-29 | Uncategorized | 5 comments

Almost a year ago, on February 5th of last year at exactly 15:02, I posted the first entry in this journal. Soon we will have two music posts per week, a new piece and one from a year ago.

This Neobhemia post went well with our snow yesterday.

I read the music of sound blog this Morning and he makes some interesting points regarding the iPad.

The iPad as a wireless controller for music:

the music of sound » Apps for your iPad?
But what are the apps that you can’t wait to see re-versioned for the iPad? It obviously has huge potential as a wireless controller for music, and I don’t imagine it will be long before there is a virtual Monome controller/emulator as well as program specific remotes akin to the LaunchPad. I can also easily imagine something akin to the Lemur appearing on the app store, which to a small degree already exists with the iTouch MIDI apps…

The iPad as a wireless DAW controller (((Digital Audio Workstation – basically every computer-based recorder))):

But also the Dexter, which is a more DAW specific remote based on the same technology as the Lemur. In fact for ProTools it already exists as the ProRemote but expanding it for a larger screen will have a huge impact on its usability.

Then he points out that album artwork will look much better this size! The iPad screen is smaller than the old 12″ vinyl cover, but larger than a 7″ single cover:

Lastly, for engaging with music the iPad could make a great start back to the days of vinyl in terms of displaying artwork & liner notes….. well…. realistically back to 7? single territory at least…. the 12? LP still reigns supreme in that respect!

Jon mentioned to me today that the iPad will be the ultimate sheet music format. It will sit on a music stand, and you could store zillions of songs as PDF’s! He said, page turns will be effortless, the size will be smaller than any fake book, on and on- this is exciting. You could even sync a cursor to some sort of time code and “follow the bouncing ball” if you want.

I could see every Broadway band or classical orchestra storing their entire repertoire on iPads – they can interact with their scores without needing a mouse. And the possibilities for music students are endless. Imagine seeing the score and having a built-in metronome and being able to change the tempo of the piece one is practicing. Pianists won’t need anybody turning the page of their score….

Then I found this article and video about a fantastic project by guitarist Pat Metheny, a robotic orchestra or giant player piano + band, an Auto-Orchestra:

Robot Band Backs Pat Metheny on Orchestrion Tour
Dozens of robotic band members will join jazz guitarist Pat Metheny on his next international tour. It’s the same backup band that accompanied him on his latest album, Orchestrion, producing sounds both familiar and alien.

I especially enjoyed this paragraph that ends the article:

Not only does the visual spectacle of robots playing along with Metheny’s always-impressive guitar work hypnotize the viewer, but it sounds great for the same reason live orchestras sound so much better than CDs: They’re essentially 100-point surround sound speaker systems housed in a massive acoustic space with its own resonances, and no home theater (well, no home theater without robot or human performers) can duplicate that sound.

Watch the video as it is really fasctinating. It’s essentially a very complex player piano. The other thought I had… this will be hell to set up at every gig, to maintain and troublecheck before every performance. Also, I would love to sit in the middle, where he sits, to really experience the music happening all around, something that will sadly get flattened by the need to amplify the performance through two stack of speakers…

Regarding this earlier post, where I wrote that I don’t see the separation of spirit and physical things:
I came across these words from Oliver Sacks, who I have mentioned a number of times before, from an interview with Wired Magazine, I believe:

I dislike both of those words, because for me, the so-called immaterial and spiritual is always vested in the fleshly — in “the holy and glorious flesh,” as Dante said.


  1. Brenda

    Mr. Great Grandmother Holstein had a player piano and I think it used braille type paper; that was mounted on a wooden rolling pen mechanism; maybe like an old ringer washing machine; that revolved to instruct the piano keys where to strike.
    There is nothing stale about Ottmar Friends – Thanks again for sharing with all us. Fresh information with VALUES. :)Appreciate it.

  2. marijose

    I agree about all the possibilities for the iPad. I would also add the benefits to all high school and college students who would no longer have to lug around heavy text books.

    I thought the name iPad might throw people off in some languages since the pronunciation can be so similar to iPod, but so far no one (except geeks) seems to be whining.

  3. Carol

    I had a player piano. It was fun! I had a lever that when pulled made it sound even more honky tonk. It was like a grown up hurdy gurdy :) I think they still make rolls for them, but I loved those old ones the best.

  4. Carol

    Those text books are thoughtlessly heavy! Only the strong of back will suceed!

  5. Brenda

    Appreciate the reference to the Earlier Post, which reminded me to read the Eight Fold Path, which helped clear up for me , for the lack of a better word, my ignorance. I acknowledge my joy within that path of action. Thank you.


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