Machine guitars

Friday, 23 November 2007

I love music, or any other artistic expression, that is based on a unique idea. The fact that the result is often lousy music, or bad art, is less important for me than the attempt to realise an idea. People playing piano with the back of their fingers, elephant orchestra’s, a symphony with 72 car horns, I am the first to cheer such initiatives.
In 1981 Remco Scha had the brilliant idea to make an LP with guitars that are entirely played by machines. “The music presents music emerging out of simple mechanical processes. The machine configurations employed are shown in the accompanying diagrams. Most of the tracks use uniformly moving sabre swas with ropes or flexible metal rods attached. The standing waves created in these attachments hit the strings of electric guitars. All pieces are autonomously played by the machines, without human control or intervention.”
Most people leave it there: a brilliant idea. But Remco built the machines and recorded eight tracks that were released as an LP on Kremlin Records. I never got people exited when I played them a track from this LP, but I am very happy to know that the readers of this blog are the most open minded people on this planet, who can recoginise a brilliant idea when they hear it. Here is Shake. If you want to here more tracks ( Throb, Thrash, Switch, Stroke, Sweep, Slam or Brush ?), just ask.