Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mechanical Musicianship

With the memorial of the Feast of St. Cecilia falling on a Sunday this year, it will not be celebrated.

However, in honor of the Patron Saint of musicians, I present this video. Fedora doff to Catherine Garcia for sending it to me from one of her friends.

The description of what you are about to see and hear:
Turn your sound on for this. Read this first, then watch. This is almost unbelievable. See how all of the balls wind up in the catcher cones.

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft, Iowa. Yes, farm equipment! (Personal note: This small, rural town in North Central Iowa was the childhood home of my late father.)

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.
(The subject line from the e-mail was the tag line from the company's commercials. How true!)

Also for you perusal, my other post about the day:
Quotable On Notes
Quotes On Notes
Musical Quotes And Thoughts
Cantate Domino!

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