An inside look at Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion


I’ve written about Pat Metheny’s remarkable album Orchestrion on this blog before, but I hope you’ll excuse one further mention of this amazing piece of work.

This past weekend, CBS Sunday Morning featured a look behind the scenes at Orchestrion, and Sibelius — which played an important part in the creation of the record — appears on-screen a few seconds in. Pat has been a Sibelius user for some time, and he has used it for arranging on several of his recent records.

Orchestrion remains one of the most interesting and fascinating projects I’ve come across in which Sibelius has played a part. Do you know of any other musical robots? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Robert Puff

    Anyone interested in what Pat Metheny is doing right now with “Orchestrion ” should take a look at the work by Seattle-based kinetic sculptor, sound artist & composer Gerhard Trimpin.

    Trimpin has invented machines to play every instrument of the orchestra via MIDI commands.

    A documentary film has been made about his life and work

    If you are ever in Seattle, be sure to visit the EMP museum where Trimpin’s sound sculpture called “Roots and Branches” is on display in the entryway. If you look closely at the instruments in the picture link – you will see solenoids and other electro-mechanical components affixed in various places on the instruments. Not only do the instruments play, but because they are so hard to reach, the electric guitars and basses tune themselves automatically, their tuning pegs turned via computer whenever pitch sensors register too flat or sharp.

  2. Peter Roos, San Francisco

    Best music video I have seen in a while. Pat Metheney rocks!!!

  3. Les Packett

    Quite extraordinary…..Pat Metheney has added a new dimension to music. He can deal and create with the infinitesimal and the cosmic at one stroke. Many congratulations

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