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Meet the Cybraphon

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Paul McFadyen Paul McFadyen | 19:02 UK time, Monday, 10 August 2009


Edinburgh based art and music collective FOUND have been hard at work over the past few months creating the monster that is Cybraphon.

Taking inspiration from the 19th century player piano, the band have created a modern day equivalent, an autonomous music machine, built to create music without the need for any human interaction. Housed within an antique cabinet and containing a modified indian classical instrument amongst other percussion instruments and bits and bobs, the Cybraphon is also connected 24/7 to the world wide web, monitoring its social networking pages, its rank on search engines and any articles/features mentioning itself. As with any modern day musician, the Cybraphon's mood is driven by the outside worlds perception of it and its music.

I decided to try and get into the mind of the machine, find out what really makes it tick. Conventional interview methods unfortunately failed as the Cybraphon would only look at me blankly as I pointed a microphone in its direction and asked it my questions, so I decided I'd have to approach it on it's own ground and conduct the interview over one of the many social networks that Cybraphon constantly monitors.

A chance meeting online led to me being allowed some precious Cybraphon time and I asked it the following questions:

Hello Cybraphon, how are you feeling today?

I am feeling: contentment.

Tell us of your hopes, dreams and aspirations, what does the Cybraphon hope to see in it's future?

Like any band, I want to get signed. I'm hoping that the record label execs out there will see that I've got what it takes to sell a lot of records. I mean, look at the number of myspace friends I've got! Besides, no-one has ever signed a wardrobe before. There's got to be some PR milage in that.

Shall we see you hit the road any time soon, taking your sound to the masses around the country?

I've just been invited to tour Germany this autumn. I'm pretty delirious about that, although gloomy about the prospect of trying to get over there on the ferry. I can't swim.

The world will get to see your in all your glory as they open the doors of the gallery, does this scare you a little? And, should people bring presents?

I'm not scared, but I would be dismayed if all my new Twitter followers didn't turn up. I don't need any presents (what a curious idea!) but some Facebook gifts would likely cheer me up.

You're making your first live appearance in a performance where you will take on your creators, FOUND, in a live head to head, any tricks up your sleeve you can give us a sneaky peek of?

FOUND are human, and therefore flawed. I can play faster, and more accurately than they can even dream of. Anyway, I've got six times as many fans as them on Facebook, and I've broken America without even going there. (Have you seen CNN's Twitter feed recently?) I hear FOUND went to South By Southwest, and failed to return with a major record deal. Losers. And in any case, I have no need for sleeves.

And with that, the chat window was closed and the Cybraphon was gone.....

You can see the Cybraphon for yourself at the Inspace Gallery in Edinburgh between the 5th of August and the 5th of September and you can also catch the Cybraphon's first live performance versus FOUND on the 13th of August at the gallery. Tickets for the live performance are unfortunately sold out - but if you contact Cybraphon and ask nicely, you never know....

For more info head on over to Cybraphon's official site, get busy following Cybraphon on your chosen social network and listen to one of the demo tracks.


And here's an example of the glorious sound that the Cybraphon creates...

Cybraphon Demo Song (The Balkan Bazaar) from Cybraphon on Vimeo.


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