Fauxharmonic displays technological advances of orchestral sound modeling

Posted on: October 1, 2009

In Thursday’s (10/1) Boston Globe, Denise Taylor writes, “When Paul Henry Smith and the Fauxharmonic Orchestra set up to perform, the sounds made are like no other symphony orchestra. There is no chorus of string instruments tuning, no scooting of chairs, no fluttering of the pages of musical scores. Rather there are just two imperceptible clicks as Smith turns on two computers—a MacPro for the woodwinds and an IMac for everything else. But the instrumental sounds and full 100-voice choir that Smith then coaxes from the machines, using a Nintendo Wii controller as his conductor’s baton, sound surprisingly acoustic, live, and real. Smith is quick to point out that the effect does not yet equal the experience of, say, a night at Symphony Hall, but the advancing technology of digital orchestras is rapidly getting closer. At 3 p.m. Sunday at Brandeis University, you can hear the brave new sound of the digital orchestra for yourself. Smith and his FHO will perform a program that runs from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 to the soundtrack to the Final Fantasy VIII video game, as well as works by Weber, Faure, and the premieres of pieces by two students.”

Posted October 1, 2009