Guitarist Pat Metheny’s new CD Orchestrion is a modern take on an old attempt at futuristic musical mechanics. Originated in the late 18th century, utilizing music rolls or pinned cylinders, the complex machinery would tap on drums, “blow” wind through pipes or other wind instruments, “play” piano keys and “pluck” strings. Indeed, these were some of the most complex machines in the world more than two centuries ago.
Pat Metheny has taken these concepts and developed a new form of orchestrion, still using acoustic instruments and complex machinery, but with the ability to trigger the “band” from his own guitar. Frankly, I’m not that familiar with this concept, so maybe you should just check out this video of Pat putting the album together. Comments encouraged!