Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evil Villagers Go Digital

The august firm of Austrian piano-makers, Bösendorfer, are now making a digital instrument. While it's fine to have a Bösendorfer keyboard and action fronting for an otherwise electronic instrument, and the Vienna Symphonic Library-made samples are very good, it's still basically playing a set of samples, and even with increases in memory size and computing speed, a sample set is still going to do a poor job with a number of subtle but still characteristic physical interactions that go into a complex instrument like the piano (sympathetic resonances, cancellations, interference beating etc.). On the other hand, there may very well be an aesthetic which looks kindly on instruments without such pronounced secondary effects, in which case this instrument can certainly be used.


Anonymous said...

Well at least get the spelling right - Boese is evil, Boerse is a stock exchange.

Or is that a very subtle anti-capitalist deliberate mistake of yours??

Anyway, in a curious coincidence, I have been renting a clavichord from a member of the German Clavichord Society, who is a former financial analyst - and also owns a small Boesendorfer grand... among half a dozen more keyboard instruments.

Daniel Wolf said...

No bad pun intended, just an artifact from Via Voice (my vision is poor, so I use Via Voice a lot, but it's far from perfect when a text is in mixed languages).

In any case, I save my anti-capitalist munition for the real bad guys, not for Bösendorfer, a small firm that has produced some of the most memorable instruments I have ever encountered -- from La Monte Young's retuned Imperial to the small grand in the Bartok house in Budapest -- perfect for accompanying voices, and impossible to play louder than a mf.

I've taught many brokers over the years here in Frankfurt, and not a few of them have been talented musicians who've taken another path.