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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Schoenberg's Op. 11 performed by cats

I would like to credit fellow music blogger "Soho the Dog" (a.k.a. Matthew Guerrieri) for bringing this one to my attention.

This is about a software assisted audio-video collage derived from multiple YouTube videos of assorted cats playing the piano and reassembled in such a way as to recreate all three movements of Schoenberg's historic Three Pieces for Piano Op. 11.

The video creator - Cory Arcangel - describes himself as "a 30 year old computer programmer, cyber sculptor, comedian, web designer, and artist living and working in Brooklyn."

He used Comparisioncs software to compare pianist Glenn Gould's recording of the original Schoenberg work against a large file YouTubes collected of "random" cat-generated notes and chords. The Comparisioncs software then suggested sections that were similar on a note-by-note basis. From that Arcangel made final choices and wrote a script that reassembled fragments from 170 YouTube videos into something that vaguely resembles the Schoenberg composition as played by Glenn Gould.

Here is a link to Cory Arcangel's website:

It seems like a fitting way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Schoenberg's historic piano work, which dates from 1909. Too bad that the cat's pianos were out of tune.