Saturday, March 11, 2006

16 Pianos, 0 Pianists

This is my kind of event. Seriously.

"It's a concert without musicians when 16 baby grand player-pianos accompanied by a variety of drums, bells, xylophones and a siren perform American composer George Antheil's "Ballet Mecanique," or Mechanical Ballet." Read the rest.

One point that caught my idea: "One difficulty in realizing Antheil's dreams, according to Lehrman, is that his instructions seem to call for piano-playing as fast as 152 beats a minute, but even today's technology has only been able to reach 138 beats. Human pianists can only do about 120.."

And that reminds me to mention that Liberace was billed in Ripley's "Believe it or Not" as the world's fastest pianist? Personally I find that less impressive than his role as a villain on the old Batman series. Details here. Liberace. Cross-over star?!

Back to Antheil. If you can't make the concert, check out this page devoted to the "Ballet Mecanique".

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