Yamaha Disklavier

Recreating Great Performances with Technology

There is something special about listening to a live performance. There's the energy in the room, the element of unpredictability and the uniqueness of the performance conditions - time, place, humidity, environment, audience and performer - that can never be replicated. Now with technology, it is possible to replicate at least one aspect of a performance - how it was performed. John Walker from Sony demonstrates, using a Yamaha Disklavier, how they took performances by Glenn Gould and Art Tatum, converted the recording into raw data that can be played back. In this clip, you get to see the piano play part of Bach's Goldberg Variations as Gould did in one of his recording sessions.

They even show photos of the recording process, enabling you to listen to the music as if you were the one sitting on the piano bench, as opposed to 20 or so feet away in the audience. Believe me, it is a different experience.

Although you can never replicate all aspects of a performance, it's still pretty interesting to watch the piano show you how Gould and Tatum touched the keys, the pedal.

(c) 2009 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.