Behind The OrchestrionHopefully by now, you've seen the amazing Orchestrion battalion of robotic musical instruments live, in the movie or on YouTube. Here's the story behind its creation.
In 2008, guitarist Pat Metheny approached LEMUR Director Eric Singer and said he wanted to tour with a backing band of all-robotic instruments. Eric said, "We can do that!", and the project commenced. LEMUR worked tirelessly throughout 2009 to produce about 40 custom stringed, mallet and percussion instruments to make up the ensemble. Many were based on LEMUR's considerable body of previous instrument designs, but many were newly designed creations. Along the way, Pat contacted several other makers including Ragtime West, Peterson and others to supplement the LEMUR collection.
Throughout 2010, Pat toured the world with the Orchestrion ensemble. Each evening, a crew would set up the instruments, Pat would play a three hour concert, they would strike the set, go on to the next city and do it all again - quite an accomplishment. By all reports, the instruments performed flawlessles and the concerts were met with rave reviews. (Pat told Eric, "Your instruments were the least of our problems!")
LEMUR was proud to be the force behind realizing the Orchestrion. Look for more recordings and tours by Pat and the Orchestrion in upcoming years. Don't miss an opportunity to see it!
If you're a musician interested in having your own robotic ensemble created, please contact us. We'd love to talk with you.
A Close-up View
This Gigapan photo is a zoomable panorama of the Orchestrion. Zoom in close to see the instruments in detail.
A video tour of LEMUR's work, including concerts, installations and commissions.
World Premiere: Electric Sheep
We're thrilled to announce the premiere of Electric Sheep, a new commissioned work by composer Marc Mellits for Piano and LEMUR Robots. Electric Sheep will be performed by renown new music pianist Kathleen Supové in a three-night run at The Flea Theater on December 17th, 18th and 19th as part of her Exploding Piano series. The concert, Kathleen Supové and the Electric Sheep will also feature works by three other composers created for and performed by Ms. Supové.Kathleen Supové and the Electric Sheep
The Flea Theater
41 White Street
New York City
(3 blocks below Canal Street between Church and Broadway)
Saturday December 17th, 9:30 pm
Sunday December 18th, 7:00 pm
Monday December 19th, 7:00 pm
$15 ($12 students/seniors)
Living In The Future
Despite the lack of flying cars, jet packs and personal worm holes, Eric Singer enjoys living in the future. In fact, this is where he draws inspiration for his artwork. With this in mind, Eric presents a retro-proto-spective of his work combining sound, video, robotics and technology. Plus, you get to play with the art, too.
Eric Singer @ SPACE Gallery
May 13-June 16
818 Liberty Avenue
Opening Reception: May 13th, 6-9 pm
CBS Sunday Morning feature on the Orchestrion
Click below to play the video
LEMUR In The News
We're happy about all the press we've been receiving lately.
A great feature on Eric & LEMUR is now on Vice's Motherboard.tv.
Plus recent print stories:
- City Paper
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette
- Pittsburgh Tribune
- Mother Nature Network
- The New York Times
- Electronic Musician.