The online piece Bicycle Built For Two Thousand (2009) by American artists Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey is made up of over 2,000 voice recordings collected through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk web service. Workers were invited to listen to a short sound sample before recording themselves replicating it. The result was a recreated version of Daisy Bell, the 1962 song that was the first to use musical speech synthesis.
Through a custom audio recording tool created with Processing, the workers completed their tasks in a web browser. Each recording was paid for $0.06. They were not told about the initiative beforehand. There were participants from 71 different countries. The US, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, Macedonia, the Philippines, Germany, Romania, Italy, and Pakistan rounded out the top 10.
Harry Dacre wrote Daisy Bell in 1892. Max Mathews, John Kelly, and Carol Lockbaum performed the song in 1962, and it was the first example of musical speech synthesis. It later appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey as the eerie song HAL sings at the finale.
Bicycle Built For Two Thousand (2009)
Net Art by Aaron Koblin Daniel Massey