Daily Archives September 8, 2010

When Jim Second-Guessed Himself

Jim was working on two projects. The first one was a pipe organ made of robotic mouths. It was based on a toy that he’d seen as a child which was a musical keyboard where each key made a tone and triggered the release of a puppet character ascribed to the sound. Jim’s organ ascribed a series of robotic mouths to respective keys and stops. Each mouth was able to pronounce vowels but not consonants. The mouths were visible to the audience, whose reaction possibly dipped into the uncanny valley, a place usually reserved for androids. Jim worked on a set of 3 songs for his organ’s debut: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and the main themes of Star Wars and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His debut was a success. People loved his organ and his performance...

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