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The CNC music factory is Still Alive

May 5, 2009

As Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again.

Well, almost: I’d like to start this post with a welcome to those who have found me via Planet Humanism, and to pass my thanks to nullifidian for adding me to the aggregator. He, too, seemed to find something interesting in my ramblings. Good luck.

Actually, this is a kind of half-way post to both introduce you poor lucky folk to my blog and to share something with you, although it’s been around the intertubes for the last day or two. The following contains spoilers for the game Portal — part of The Orange Box by Valve Software.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to play Portal and have finished it will know of the fantastic ending song by Jonathan Coulton called Still Alive. As ending songs go it is the perfect epilogue to what is a thoroughly enjoyable game: it ties up the loose ends, it captures precisely the personality of the game’s antagonist and, when you get the in jokes, it leaves you walking away laughing.

Here’s the ending song in all its glory:

Alternatively, here are the lyrics to Still Alive.

And here’s the point of this post: some genius has taken a CNC router and used its stepper motors to play Still Alive. Its three-dimensional motorised control means it can effectively play 3 notes: a chord. The result speaks for itself:

I’m truly hoping that you can appreciate this as much as I can. Okay, it’s geeky and is an off-the-wall kind of musical art expression. But what tickles me is that the artist has programmed a robot to play a tune about a robot that spent the entire game lying to you.

After all, you must remember:

The cake is a lie!

It’s gold, I tell ya…

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