There’s a fascinating story on WNYC’s Soundcheck blog today, which details a process used by the company Zenph, which uses actual audio recordings of keyboard music to re-create live performances, on a computer-driven Disklavier. Their claim is that the process is accurate enough to capture all of the details of an original piano performance. Of course, other performance issues, such as the room, the instrument, the audience, and how these may have been factors in the artist’s performance, cannot be factored in.
I think this raises many interesting issues of performance vs. recording vs. the perception of “liveness”. To me personally, even at its best this can only be another form of recording, rather than a “live performance”.