Last April, we reported about digital performances by two piano virtuosi both of whom have long been dead (see: Concert from Beyond the Grave - R.I.P.) It seems others are dying to do the same thing .
The New York Times (reg. required) has an article today titled: 'Play It Again, Vladimir (via Computer)' that discusses a process of transforming recordings of deceased masters into new, computer enhanced performances, The computer would analyze how the viruoso made the sounds and emulate it. The process also analyzes the 'style' of a performer and play other scores with the same style.
"...a group of leading researchers known as the Machine Learning, Data Mining and Intelligent Music Processing Group are trying to pinpoint just what it is that fools the ear. Led by Gerhard Widmer, they are looking at everything from improving the way computers "hear" music to isolating the elements of individual performance style, as well as creating graphs and animations to illustrate different pianists' interpretations of the same passage of music."
"The technology, in short, is still in its infancy. But Dr. Walker is animated by his vision of the future. Like other scientists - including Dr. Goebl in Vienna, another serious classical musician - he envisions a future of interactive recordings. "We've been trained that a recording is a frozen document," he said. "Why can't it be like a video game - every time you hear a recorded performance it's different?"
Interactive recordings where everytime you hear a recorded performance it is different! Kind of like having GPO VAR controls on your recordings. Interesting stuff!