The Speaking Piano

Somehow, it seems Boing Boing never covered this 2009 project from Austrian composer Peter Ablinger: a "speaking piano" that recites the Proclamation of the European Environmental Criminal Court at World Venice Forum 2009. The keys are struck by solenoids, and the resulting sound mimics human speech. The video is a TV news report in German, but what the piano "says" is all English.

There's a translation here, and more at an archival Hackaday post.

(thanks, Mikael Jorgensen!)


14 Responses to “The Speaking Piano”

  1. thomadaeus says:

    Oh my GOD! The Daleks have developed 88-key technology!

  2. Seems similar to a Vocoder – amazing!!!

  3. OtherMichael says:

    There are longer excerpts and related works at the composer’s site.

    Here’s the piece in the clip.

  4. Devon Frohne says:

    That is on point rad! I love when we as humans try to break down what is common in nature, interpret the data, and then re-interpret into visual or audible content in a different form! so cool!

  5. Enki says:

    Jaw dropped, for real.

  6. I wonder how comprehensible it is without the subtitles telling you what you are supposed to be hearing.

  7. danegeld says:

    Ah! The wonderful thing for today :) Thanks xeni

  8. welcomeabored says:

    That may be English, but the accent is a bit thick.  I can clearly understand this guitar however.

  9. s2redux says:

    For maximum fun, use this to perform I am sitting in a room.

  10. timquinn says:

    it is amazing that when you meet the kid whose voice they used it turns out he has something of a lisp that clearly explains why it doesn’t sound quite right. This is strange, because all the german is pronounced with typical german precision.

  11. Kristiyan says:

    Remember William Gibson’s Wintermute?

  12. Kevin Breanach says:

    Why did I think it was going to be something to do with this:

    Sparky and his Magic Piano (1987 version) –

  13. kiptw says:

    Shades of Ernesto Hill Olvera! I don’t remember if I found this guy from WFMU or Mexicovers, but he’s a blind organist who makes his instrument enunciate. YouTube video:

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