As a young boy, this unique and multi-talented artist had a cellular-level lust for two things: (1) robots and (2) a set of electronic LEGO…with which to build robots. Often he would sit in his bedroom drawing pictures, schematics and diagrams of robots, Robots, ROBOTS!—fantasizing about one day creating a real robot to have as his friend.
His mother, a professional concert pianist, would practice her piano repertoire for many hours each day—filling the house with the beautiful music of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and others.
As he got older, having been taught by his mother to play piano from an early age, he became frustrated with the piano’s complete inability where vibrato* is concerned. Rejecting the piano by age 11, he studied the violin, which allowed for endless methods and styles of vibrato; however, the violin offered very little musical range, in comparison to the piano, and, unlike the piano, made polyphonic harmonic self-accompaniment nearly impossible.
Several years later he discovered the guitar and found that it contained nearly all of the features he had been seeking in a musical instrument; i.e., a decent musical range, limitless vibrato possibilities, and the option to play a melody while simultaneously playing chords, basslines, and other forms of harmonic structures and rhythms beneath or in support of a particular melody.
Recently, he reconnected his threeway lifelong fascination (read: lust) for robots, the guitar, and his mother’s favorite classical music, and likewise re-discovered (read: found) his old set of electronic LEGO, all of which he combined to produce the world’s first full-length album of classical music…performed exclusively by a robot that he built using LEGO parts and programmed with his Apple MacBook Pro computer. He calls his guitar-playing robot Ada.
*The terms vibrato and tremolo are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably, especially where the piano is concerned, although they are properly defined as separate effects with vibrato defined as a periodic variation in the pitch (frequency) of a musical note, and tremolo a periodic variation in volume (amplitude) of a musical note. In practice, it is difficult for a singer or musical instrument player to achieve a pure vibrato or tremolo (where only the pitch or only the volume is varied), and variations in both pitch and volume will often be achieved at the same time. Electronic manipulation or generation of signals makes it easier to achieve or demonstrate pure tremolo or vibrato.