Asimov’s Aviary

Asimov’s Aviary

for wind ensemble
Duration: 6 minutes
Commissioned by "The Chief's Own" Air Force Band
Study Score available for purchase HERE

Listen below to a smoking hot recording by the "The Chief's Own!"

Program Note

In 1974, Isaac Asimov [creator of the three laws of robotics and the father of modern technology based science fiction] predicted in his short story, "That thou art mindful of them," that before humanoid androids would be accepted into mainstream society, robotic birds and insects would be created to desensitize the population.

While writing this piece, I frequently imagined Asimov dreaming of an aviary far in the future where robotic insects
and birds were given life and flew around in constant electronic swarms.

Amazingly, this work has begun. At the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson’s “Micro-Aviary” these robotic
insects and birds—or micro-drones as the press has dubbed them—are being developed and put in the field as part of
a whole host of projects including weather management and environmental monitoring.

However, as anyone who has read I, Robot or The Naked Sun will know, where there is potential for light in
technological innovation, there is also potential for darkness.

I often find myself thinking about the excitement that the researchers at the Micro-Aviary would feel if they were
able to show their creations to Asimov and how amazed he would have been to see how quickly these artificial insects
and birds have become a reality.

The piece features tightly woven canonic lines that form a furious web [swarm?] of contrapuntal activity over very
slow moving [inevitable?] metallic drones.

Asimov’s Aviary was commissioned by The United States Air Force Band “The Chief’s Own” and is dedicated to
the men and women at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson and premiered at the 2012 Midwest Band and
Orchestra Clinc.

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