I had business in Seattle recently, so I visited Trimpin, the German American composer-engineer who last year won the most well-deserved MacArthur "genius" award I know of. His studio was stacked with electric guitars, about 50 of them. Among other things, Trimpin is a legend for having invented machines to play all kinds of instruments—xylophones, cellos, bass clarinets—via MIDI, responding to detailed computer demands to execute humanly impossible rhythms and timbres. So far in his career, though, he's used only acoustic sounds. Now, he's got a commission to create a tower of electric guitars for Seattle's upcoming Experience Music Project, a new museum/entertainment center designed by famous architect Frank Gehry and lavishly bankrolled by Microsoft... More >>>