Metheny Mixes Music and Computers on Latest Release

May 14, 2013

Based on a childhood fascination with his grandfather’s player piano, 20-time Grammy Award winner Pat Metheny took his musical exploration to a new territory and built The Orchestrion, a mechanically controlled mini-orchestra capable of responding to his touch on the guitar. This innovative project brought about a completely unique approach to solo performance. The collaboration between this master guitarist and his wildest imagination has resulted in a fascinating and absolutely one of a kind musical experience. Recorded at a church in Brooklyn, NY "The Orchestrion Project" showcases Metheny single-handedly operating this symphony of instruments in one illustrious treat for the senses.

The Orchestrion itself is an assemblage of computer-operated acoustic instruments, all controlled by Metheny’s guitar. The full instrumental array includes several pianos, drum kits, marimbas, "guitar-bots," dozens of percussion instruments and even cabinets of carefully tuned bottles. Through Metheny’s guitar, the instruments are struck, plucked, and otherwise played via the technology of solenoid switches and pneumatics. Metheny worked for months with a brilliant team of scientists and engineers to develop and assemble the Orchestrion.  As NPR Music said "No matter who or what he has on stage with him, Pat Metheny plays music as if at the end of the show he would be prevented from doing so for the rest of his life. He makes every note note matter...and he always looks like he's having as much fun playing as we are listening."

This two-disc set on Nonesuch Records features 13 live songs from Metheny's 2010 tour including Entry Point, Soul Search, Sueno Con Mexico and Stranger In Town.