This Beautiful Giant Xylophone in the Woods Makes Me Smile

Posted by ted @ 11:03 am, April 3rd, 2011

This video of a giant xylophone playing itself in the woods is really just a cell phone commercial, but the simplistic beauty makes me smile.



The Sound of Pi

Posted by ted @ 6:59 am, March 8th, 2011

Just in time for the upcoming Pi Day (3/14), YouTube musician Michael John Blake has created a lovely song by interpreting the first 31 digits of pi into musical notes. While there is certainly a lot of creative input involved to get from pi to this song, the connection is still fun, and don’t forget to notice just how many different instruments this guy can play. Enjoy!



Robot Love in the Big City

Posted by ted @ 8:22 pm, February 28th, 2009

Every year the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) holds a student film festival (video making contest) they call the UMMys. The entrants vary widely in quality and subject matter and tend to include a lot of teen angst and zombies. Several years ago one entrant stood head and (large metallic) shoulders above the rest. It was called “Rumspringa! The Musical” and was about an amish girl going on her traditional rumspringa to the city and falling in love with a recently unemployed phone answering robot. All songs are written (except the Electric Slide) and performed by the students and it is clever, funny and totally worth watching, cheesy robot costume and all.   Sadly the entire 30 minute production appears to no longer be available on YouTube, but two of the best (IMHO) musical numbers from it are still available for your viewing pleasure.

Your robot overlords command you to click the play buttons below…

Every film needs an internet trailer…..

[Rumspringa! The Musical on MySpace]

My Favorite Record by Asylum Street Spankers

Posted by ted @ 11:15 am, February 24th, 2009

My Favorite Record by Asylum Street Spankers

I have really been enjoying this awesome bizarre CD. Hard to classify the genre really. It’s jazz, it’s swing, it’s blues, and throw in some mountain music and a bit of good rock and roll and you almost have it covered. Great high quality music spiced with wonderful crazy weird funky lyrics – its a win all the way. One favorite lyric that sticks in my head: “I kiss you through the screen door on a submarine, if you promise you’ll stop eating all the cat food…”.
Sadly it looks like it is out of print, but Amazon has some used CD available, grab em up! Or you can download the title song “My Favorite Record” as an MP3. A wonderful genre spanning homage to that old favorite record you play over and over again to keep you heading the right direction on life’s rails.

Check it out!

Classical Muppets

Posted by ted @ 12:45 pm, December 16th, 2008

The Muppets have apparently been  making a come back on YouTube. I have always loved the Muppets, from watching them in prime time decades ago, to sharing them with  my son on DVD, they are classic family entertainment true style and the list of big name celebrities that were guest hosts is truly staggering. Here are two delicious Muppet version of classical music to enjoy with your family and loved ones.

Ode to Beeker

Classical Chicken

These put a new light on all the new solo acapella chorus YouTube videos out there recently.


It’s a Vacuum, It’s a Dance Partner, It’s a New Friend, It’s a Roomba!

Posted by ted @ 8:42 am, November 8th, 2008

I have had this song stuck in my head for days now. A fun little ditty about a man trying to clean up his life with a robot vacuum cleaner. Starts a little slow, then takes off. The dancing is fun, and I like how he really belts out those lyrics. Enjoy!

“I got a robot vacuum! Cleaning up my life!

I Want 500 Robots in My House

Posted by ted @ 11:06 am, June 2nd, 2008

This morning on the MPR morning show they played this fun song by Hypnotic Clambake called 500 Robots.

“I’ve got 500 robots in my house, they do the things that I can do without….”

It is a fun catchy tune that is stuck in my head and will my theme song for the day. It is from their Mayonnaise album.
I managed to find this live version on Internet Archive – Enjoy!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Hypnotic Clambake – 500 Robots Live MP3

Hypnotic Clambake Official Site

Toyota’s Robot Quartet Perform in Concert

Posted by ted @ 7:36 am, May 16th, 2008

Looks like those clever engineers over at Toyota took the next logical step and put together a talented quartet of their musician robots. The robots are Harry on trumpet, Dave on trumpet, Chuck on tuba , and Ritchie on drums. (Sadly it looks like one of the trumpet players is still in a wheel chair from that unfortunate accident after their last gig. Had a little too much to drink and tried jump a speeding Prius). Songs played include: “The Theme of Lupin III”, “Moonlight Serenade”, “Stompin ‘at the Savoy”, and “A train to go”.

I would like to find more technical details on how these guys work, like what kind of “lips” do they have, and are they listening to each other play to synchronize? I could definitely see this kind of thing catching on for entertainment on cruise ships or in theme parks. No more trouble with the band eating all the food or getting carried away at the open bar. Of course, then I wonder how long until the musicians unions start complaining?

TechEBlog » Feature: Toyota’s Robot Quartet Perform in Concert

Robot to conduct symphony orchestra

Posted by ted @ 8:51 pm, May 3rd, 2008

Once they get that robot orchestra made, it looks like they will have someone to conduct. Asimo, that cute little guy from Honda, will be guest conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a performance of “Impossible Dream.” Along with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Asimo will open a special concert performance for young people in Detroit on May 13.

From DeviceGuru

May 14 Update

Apparantly the performance went well. Here is a video

Difficult listening music

Posted by ted @ 5:23 pm, March 30th, 2008

I have just had the displeasure of attending an (otherwise pleasant) orchestra performance which contained the 28 minutes of cacophony known as “Apotheosis of this Earth” by Karel Husa. This composition is meant to express the composers displeasure with the terrible way in which man was / is treating the planet earth. It included a number of unusual devices such as instruments playing quarter stepped notes to be deliberately out of tune with others instruments, and sections of the score which direct to play some unspecified notes for a certain amount of time. These devices seemed to be most often realized at high pitches and high volumes which frequently became physically painful to listen to. It did not help matters that it was being performed in a relatively small “recital hall” space and not a large concert hall which may have been better able to handle the intense sound levels. While I do appreciate the technical skill involved in composing 28 minutes of music while completely avoiding anything resembling conventional musical melodies and maintaining a continuously difficult listening experience for the audience for the entire time, as a member of the audience I found it to be a (not surprisingly) somewhat unpleasant experience. Before the music began I had high hopes for something interesting as they brought out 2 marimbas, 2 glockenspiel, 2 xylophones, 2 gongs, tom toms and a set of concert bells, but alas that was before I knew they would be used for evil instead of for good. I could see how this piece would make a very interesting soundtrack for a movie of some kind, maybe an avant-garde art film, or even creatively used for a space science fiction, but it was not well suited as a concert piece. One kind of cool thing I enjoyed was when sections of the orchestra would speak the words “this beautiful earth” in quiet breathy voices during lulls in the noise, but that might have also been due to the momentary pause in the loud cacophonous discord. The conductor stated that this was a piece you would not often hear in a concert, alas he apparently did understand why that was.

Musical Robots

Posted by ted @ 8:00 am, March 30th, 2008


TechE Blog has a nice feature on robots what can skillfully play a musical instrument. I like the way the trumpet player and violin player move and sway to the music they are playing in a very life-like way. The percussion player is very cool in the way it improvises along with a human drummer. I am also impressed with the quality of music they produce as playing a musical instrument requires some subtle control. I wonder how the trumpet player changes its “mouth” to produce different notes from one valve position. I imagine iit won’t be long before we see a entire band or even orchestra made up entirely of robots.

TechEBlog » Feature: Robots That Can Skillfully Play a Musical Instrument

There be Hats!

Posted by ted @ 5:32 am, January 10th, 2007

B was very patient trying on every hat I could find in the house (what…you don’t have a hat trunk in your house?) while I took pictures. Music by Barenaked Ladies. Enjoy!