The Kurzweil name is legendary among musicians across virtually all musical genres. The company is known among aficionados for its cutting-edge sound modeling techniques, as well as for creating some of the most desirable and eloquently playable instruments available.
A new video (below) features interviews with company founder/inventor Ray Kurzweil, as well as R&D director Hal Chamberlin, and associate R&D director Tim Thompson.
Kurzweil, an inventor who has made his mark in a diverse range of research, educational and technology circles, talks about the company’s early inception, inspired by a challenge from long-time friend Stevie Wonder.
“We would talk about lots of different technology issues, having to do with blindness and with music,” Kurzweil recounts. “In 1982 he was showing me his new studio, Wonderland, and he was lamenting, ‘you know, we’ve got these acoustic instruments, 19th century technology, that create these wonderful sounds, and then we have these computerized instruments where I can play something and the computer will remember it, and I can edit and have such powerful control over the parts. Wouldn’t it be great if I could apply that powerful control to these beautiful sounds of choice?’ And I thought about that and felt it would be feasible to accomplish.”
The rest, as they say, is history. With Wonder’s input and support, Ray Kurzweil and company spent several years working to create what would become the Kurzweil 250, recognized as the first electronic keyboard that could truly capture the sounds of an acoustic instrument.