The original version of Belle Labs is performed with the Heliphon, a robotic instrument designed and built by Leila Hasan and Giles Hall, as part of the Ensemble Robot project, Christine Southworth, Artistic Director.
The piece can also be performed with a recording of the heliphon part: this is available from Airplane Ears Music via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In either case, a third party is needed to start the robot or recording at m. 94 – after this the mechanical participant (robot or recording) runs until the end of the piece, the players taking their tempi and cues from the machine. Much of the robot part defies standard notation, and/or is unnecessary for live performance. This score provides all cues necessary for live performance.
Belle Labs was commissioned by Ensemble Robot with support from the LEF Foundation. It was premiered by Todd Reynolds, violin, Evan Ziporyn, clarinet, and the Heliphon as part of “Music and the Invasion of Technology” at the Boston Museum of Science, January 25, 2006.