In this slightly disturbing “switched-on” music video, Dan Sindel performs Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two) on the AXON Guitar-to-MIDI converter, reading from Barber shop Quartet sheet music. Sindel is joined by the original Bell Lab Daisy Bell recording.
One of the more famous moments in Bell Labs’ synthetic speech research was the sample created by John L. Kelly in 1962, using an IBM 704 computer. Kelly’s voice synthesizer recreated Bicycle Built for Two, with musical accompaniment from Max Mathews. Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, saw this remarkable demonstration and later used it in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the HAL9000 computer sings this song as he is disassembled by astronaut Dave Bowman.
This video features old stock footage from Coney Island (1940’s) and some cool old Army footage of an Atomic Bomb Test – “Operation Cue”.