Thursday, July 09, 2009

PSF - The Psychic Piano

Last month, I went to a meeting held at Sun Microsystems where Adam and I learned about the MIT scratch program (a whole other post). As we were leaving, we admired the open lobby where there was a waterfall and a piano. Adam whizzed around the area and said, "Where have you been all my life? I want to work here when I grow up!" Indeed, it was a beautiful place. Maybe I need to work there when I grow up. Then again, I was never any good at Java...

Here are some photos courtesy of Quentin, who invited us to the meeting.

Sun waterfall

I simply cannot resist a piano, especially if no one is around, so I approached it and sat down.

Sun piano

The room had a late night, ethereal atmosphere, so I chose to play Debussy's Arabesque. I only know the first page by memory and the impressionistic music quietly filled the room. The keys had a weird feel to them, and then I noticed on the right that there some sort of computer controller.

Sun piano controller

Of course a high tech company like Sun would have a high tech player piano! Then I took a closer look at the display panel.

Arabesque by Debussy? How did it know what I was playing?? Is this piano psychic or something? I pressed the play button and sure enough, the same music came forth from the piano (although a bit faster and more professional). How could it possibly know? I decided to test it by playing another piece, Schumann's About Strange Lands and People. The display didn't change. I pressed the play button and Debussy came out again. I popped out the floppy disk from the controller and saw that the first piece listed was Debussy's Arabesque. So it was sheer luck that I happened to play the first piece that the piano knew.

At this point, Adam turned to me and said, "Mom, it was you! How did you know?? You're a genius!!" We bursted into giggles and delight at this magical experience.

Here's a video of me attempting to play Debussy's Arabesque at home. Good thing Adam was there to contribute some comic relief and yawn sounds.

Debussy's Arabesque from Angela T on Vimeo.

PhotoStory Friday
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