Perhaps you have heard those George Gershwin player piano recordings, rendered from rolls of his original performances. Much as I admire Gershwin, his showy, overworked playing hasn’t, to my ears, dated well, even when recreated live by modern human mimics who are a more sensitive to contemporary tastes. It’s like listening to a blousey old soprano drown a classic song in vibrato. There is also something odd about player piano recordings.
In a staggering feat of programming, a bunch of software engineers at a US start-up have managed to restore completely a performance by another distinctive pianist, Glenn Gould, from a low-quality mono recording. Their code listens to the noisy audio and re-synthesizes everything using a modern MIDI-controlled acoustic instrument. And Gould is only one of their dead clients. [via Robot Wisdom]