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The Orchestrion Project

The Orchestrion Project cover art

Track Listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1.01Improvisation #15:00
1.03Entry Point10:46
1.05Improvisation #210:13
1.0680/81-Broadway Blues4:27
2.01Soul Search10:04
2.02Spirit of the Air8:51
2.03Stranger in Town5:44
2.04Sueño con Mexico (listen to complete track below)8:58
2.05Tell Her You Saw Me5:21
2.06Unity Village7:38

News & Reviews

  • Pat Metheny Unity Group's North American Tour Culminates at NYC's Town Hall

    The Pat Metheny Unity Group—Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams, and Giulio Carmassi—concluded the North American leg of its world tour, performing music from the debut album, Kin (←→), and much more at New York's Town Hall on Friday. "Metheny is one of the most industrious creative engines in jazz, and his relentless breadth has become a calling card, if not a selling point, among his fans," says the New York Times. "New York was his final stop on a grueling North American tour, which meant that the structure and pace of the production had been nailed down tight." The Group begins a months-long European tour at the end of April. 

  • Pat Metheny Unity Group's "Kin (←→)" Debuts at #1 on Billboard Jazz Chart

    Kin (←→), the debut album from Pat Metheny Unity Group—Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams, and Giulio Carmassi—has premiered in the top spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. "There’s a sprightliness and a captivating agility present throughout this album, even in its more reflective and graceful moments," says MusicOMH in a four-star review. "This suggests a new ensemble taking complete joy in the art of making creative music and taking new risks."

About this Album

In 2010, 20-time Grammy Award winner Pat Metheny took his musical exploration to a new territory with his Orchestrion, a computer controlled mini-orchestra capable of responding to his touch on guitar. After releasing the Orchestrion record, Metheny and his "band" hit the road, playing over 100 concerts around the world, culminating with the recording of The Orchestrion Project in Brooklyn, NY. This recording showcases the full evolution of the Orchestrion as documented at the tail end of a sprawling world tour and will be available on Nonesuch on February 12, 2013. The double-disc set features all five sections of Orchestrion—"a soaring five-movement suite featuring some of the most intricate music he's ever created" (Boston Globe)—plus eight additional Metheny compositions reimagined with the Orchestrion.

The Orchestrion itself is an assemblage of computer-operated acoustic instruments, all controlled by Metheny’s guitar. The full instrumental array includes several pianos, drum kits, marimbas, "guitar-bots," dozens of percussion instruments and even cabinets of carefully tuned bottles. Through Metheny’s guitar, the instruments are struck, plucked, and otherwise played via the technology of solenoid switches and pneumatics. Metheny worked for months with a brilliant team of scientists and engineers to develop and assemble the Orchestrion.

The Orchestrion album and tour received critical praise, with Jazz Times saying, "Mallets, bells, bottles, piano, cymbals and incidental percussion held forth in a spectacle of dissonance and extraordinary color, sounding like Metheny meets Boulez." And NPR Music said, "No matter who—or what—he has on stage with him, Pat Metheny plays music as if at the end of the show he would be prevented from doing so for the rest of his life. He makes every note matter, and infuses each with so much emotion that it’s very hard not to get swept up in the moment…he always looks like he’s having as much fun playing as we are listening. His tour with the Orchestrion will likely be talked about for quite a while."

Over the course of more than three decades, guitarist Pat Metheny has set himself apart from the jazz mainstream, expanding and blurring boundaries and musical styles. His record-setting body of work includes 20 Grammy Awards; a series of influential trio recordings; award-winning solo albums; scores for hit Hollywood motion pictures; and collaborations and duets with major artists such as Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, Charlie Haden, Brad Mehldau, and many others. His band, the Pat Metheny Group, founded in 1977, is the only ensemble in history to win Grammys for seven consecutive releases.


All music performed by Pat Metheny: Guitar and Orchestrionics (piano, marimba, vibraphone, orchestra bells, basses, guitarbots, percussion, cymbals and drums, blown bottles, and other custom fabricated acoustic mechanical instruments), Robotic Angeli Guitar

Produced by Pat Metheny
Co-Producer: Steve Rodby
Recorded by Pete Karam and David Oakes at St. Elias Church, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed by Pete Karam at Ton of Bricks Studio, Montreal
Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York, NY

Technical Director: David Oakes
Guitar Tech and Tuning: Carolyn Chrzan
Piano Tuning: Mike Miccio
Orchestrionic Instrument Maintenance and Repair: Boris Klompus and Shawn Trail
Project Coordinator: David Sholemson

Design by Barbara de Wilde
Photography by Luc Bourgeois
Cover Photograph Color Post-Production: Véronique Saucier

Music Composed and Arranged by Pat Metheny, except “Broadway Blues,” by Ornette Coleman

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Orchestrionic Instruments custom built and/or used for this project by Eric Singer and LEMUR (League of Experimental Musical Urban Robots); Ken Caulkins and Ragtime West; Mark Herbert; Cyril Vance and Moog; The Petersen Company; Paolo Angeli; and the DeCap Bros. Herentals.
Disklaviers provided by Yamaha Piano.
Cymbals provided by Sabian. Drums provided by Sonor. Mallets provided by Vic Firth and Mike Balter

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