Tonight at the high-falutin' Julliard School: the RoboRecitcal, an all-automata concert performance by a player piano (old school) and GuitarBot (new school). GuitarBot, "a stringed instrument that is designed to extend -- not simply duplicate -- the capabilities of a human musician," was created in 2000 by LEMUR (the League if Electronic Musical Urban Robots... no joke) and looks like it was designed by Dan Flavin. It will play a program featuring Bach, Mozart, and compositions by J. Brendan Anderson, the Julliard undergrad who coordinated the recital.
The Julliard link includes a discussion of the centuries-old history of musical composition for automata, based on the ideal of direct transmission of music from composer to listener, unsullied by those accident-prone humans.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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