Ray Kurzweil on the legacy of Kurzweil products
“Stevie wonder was our first customer for the Kurzweil Reading Machine (the first print-to-speech reading machine) in 1976. We became friends and had many conversations about technology as applied to both disabilities and music. In 1982, while giving me a tour of his new ‘wonderland’ music studio, Stevie asked if it would be possible to build a bridge between the powerful control methods of computer music, with the beautiful sounds of acoustic instruments such as piano and guitar. I thought about it, and concluded that it would be feasible. Kurzweil Music Systems was born in 1982 with Stevie wonder as musical advisor. Over the next quarter century we developed a succession of digital pianos & keyboards that maintained this leadership in realism while also providing a broad new palette of sounds and sound modification techniques. This was the vision that Stevie wonder had articulated in 1982 and I was personally gratified that he felt satisfied that we had achieved it. Many other high profile artists (Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, The Who, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Boston Pops, Andrew Lloyd Webber to name a few) seemed to agree. A traditional reaction of musicians to our Kurzweil keyboards has often been ‘If only I could afford one.’ that’s why am personally excited by the recent PC3 line ranging from the PC3le to the top-of-the-line PC3K, and incorporating our new ‘MARA’ chip into the home products such as the CUP2, and very affordable MP-10.
Years ago only the top studios and academic laboratories could afford technology that allowed flexible shaping of new sounds. Now these tools are affordable for everyone from music students to weekend musicians. As technological advances continue to ramp up at an exponential pace, Kurzweil will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, further blurring the line between music and machine.”
- Ray Kurzweil
Founder and Chief Strategy officer,
Kurzweil Music Systems