The last time we heard from you, you said that you were there when the technology for Spirio was being developed. You were playing, and they were figuring out how to make it work.
MULLIGAN, SIMON: Indeed, precisely. And afterward that prompted playing the send off of the instrument in London and Singapore and in different places and giving little shows of it. They would press the magic button after I played, and the piano would hopefully play back what I had just played, prompting everyone to exclaim, “Gosh.” These brief presentations are so rare.
I adored it as well as what I could teach other pianists and students by passing on my bad musical habits [laughs]. Furthermore, I was before long recording piano supplements, piano parts to sonatas, other chamber works and concertos, so different musicians and different instrumentalists, the artists, could rehearse with me at the piano — yet I’m not there!
GEORGE: Oh, wow. That is awesome.
SIMON: I know that at the Beijing Studio, they were utilizing my recording of Rachmaninoff’s piano section, a kind of colossal piece of music. Knowing that cellists are competing against me is also lovely. And, of course, in terms of performance, that is not the future of music. Nothing beats live execution, however as far as keeping intact and getting a grip on the music, it’s exquisite.
It’s significant, right? Additionally, it was rooted in my early efforts to learn piano concertos. My teacher would play back the cassette tape and play against it after recording the orchestra part with a metronome that clicked in time. As a result, this is in effect—it’s an improved audio version of that.