Robot music 'entertains' at D.C. art gallery
12th March, 2006
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.
This very untraditional concert took place Saturday not in a traditional performance hall, but at the National Gallery of Art.
The technology of Antheil's time -- Paris in 1925 -- could not put together the four piano parts with seven electric bells, four bass drums, three xylophones, two airplane propellors, a Chinese tam-tam and a siren. All are listed in Antheil's score, the gallery said. All were played mechanically, powered by electric motors.