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Playing with balls
July 2, 2004 4:59 AM   Subscribe

He plays the piano with his balls (SFW)
posted by mr.marx (14 comments total)

 
I am a lesser person because I cannot do this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:10 AM on July 2, 2004


That guy needs to be shot. That may seem extreme, but I haven't had my morning coffee yet.
posted by a3matrix at 5:14 AM on July 2, 2004


I would be remiss if I didn't compliment your post with this one, which leads to a video which is nsfw.
posted by iconomy at 5:37 AM on July 2, 2004


I hate to be a total cynic, but I would imagine that the "keyboard" is programmed to play the right note no matter where the ball strikes. It's still amazing, though.
posted by jpoulos at 6:01 AM on July 2, 2004


You're not the only total cynic, I thought the same thing. Notice that balls hitting different places on the keyboard still sound the same note when appropriate. This guy could kick ballboy's jingoistic charlatan ass.

Still, a pretty cool trick.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:20 AM on July 2, 2004


Some humans actually frighten me with their talents.

This is one of those humans.

That is a level of hand-eye coordination that I feel most people simply could not attain, even given a lifetime of practice, myself included.

jpoulos: that is a possibility, but the 2-note chords seem they would make that more difficult. Also, there appeared to be a time I heard a wrong note, and there appeared to be one time he dropped a single ball that didn't sound. But those could just as well be encoding errors on the media file. *shrug* Interesting theory though.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:26 AM on July 2, 2004


I had the same thought jpoulous. Especially as there didn't seem to be any distinction between the white keys. But again, it could simply be the kludgy media file - a more detailed version might yield better results.

Or: does anyone know what sort of hardware he's using? Some kind of pressure sensitive midi controller or something? That might shed some light on it.

Still cool though.
posted by aladfar at 6:42 AM on July 2, 2004


Where he's hitting the keyboard bears no resemblance to the notes at all. He's got the whole song queued up in there, and each hit on the keyboard just triggers the next note.

But that's still pretty slick. Good jugglers make difficult tricks look easy. Great jugglers make simple tricks look incredibly difficult.
posted by ook at 7:21 AM on July 2, 2004


There's no reason to suppose it's a standard keyboard. My fencing coach, just in the process of college athletic training, taught himself how to control his heartbeat, as well as some specific blood vessels, an ability he used to fuck with nurses from time to time. To suppose that one (1) guy out of a population of x billion developed the hand/eye to play some simple songs on a custom keyboard doesn't seem farfetched to me.
posted by kavasa at 7:25 AM on July 2, 2004


I was working with a drummer the other day. He'd done pit work for a well-known stage performer; one of his jobs was synching taps to this guy's well rehearsed, but technically poor, tap routine.
There's nothing to suggest it's as complicated as rigging up a keyboard to advance on each hit - it may just be a keyboard player watching him.
posted by monkey closet at 7:48 AM on July 2, 2004


a kind guy sans mefi-account sent me this:

I saw you MetaFilter "Playing with balls" post, and thought you might be interested in the juggler who originated the trick -- Dan Menendez http://www.pianojuggler.com/

thanks, mike!
posted by mr.marx at 8:11 AM on July 2, 2004


Yeah, the balls would be too wide to never hit two keys at once. Gotta be rigged somehow. It's good juggling though.
posted by MrAnonymous at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2004


I know people (professional jugglers) who can do this. Not as well as either of the examples above...but with a good 5 ball downward pattern and a little musical skill...it's a learnable ability.
posted by dejah420 at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2004


Yeah, the balls would be too wide to never hit two keys at once. Gotta be rigged somehow. It's good juggling though.

you have to let other people be right -- it consoles them for not being anything else.
posted by Satapher at 1:52 PM on July 2, 2004


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