MANIC MONDAY | Lo-Fi Orchestra Performs Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

The creator of the Lo-fi orchestra performs the finale of the 1812 overture, part of a series of projects combining both music and technology



“I’ve always been fascinated by technology and music and I love it when the two intersect,” creator Kevin wrote on his blog. “I am a particular fan of anyone who has created unusual music using technology and spend a good chunk of time myself tinkering at the overlap of computers, electronics, and music.”

For this piece, Kevin used segments of a MIDI file sequenced by Scott Anderson from the Classical Musical Midi Page. This site was built by Steven Ritchie and includes both midi files and composers’ biographies.

This arrangement features Kevin’s full Lo-Fi Orchestra set with “extra special guests,” the MCP4725 MIDI Sample Player on the cannons; Adafruit Feather MIDI, Music and LEDs on bells; JQ6500 MIDI MP3 Player Module on clash cymbals; and LOLShield MIDI Lighting Effects for the firework effects.

Through merging his passions for technology and music, the results became a series of blog posts and videos with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and musical focus.  

“When I reached the point of having a few projects documented, I was looking for a way to combine them together and the Lo-Fi Orchestra was the result,” Kevin told The Violin Channel.  




“The finale for the 1812 overture was in celebration of my 100th post on my website,” he continued. "Since then I've continued to develop projects as a hobby and have created more ‘performances’ for the Lo-Fi Orchestra."

The challenges in putting it all together included tailoring the scores to the limited capabilities of the kinds of technology used. His projects now include a complete rendition of “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.

He hopes to inspire audiences to create their own projects like this at home. “If someone wants to have some cheap technology they can put together in their home that will help them learn some of the basics of digital sound reproduction, then maybe these projects might be of interest,” he said. 

“As a technologist and engineer I applaud the interest in STEM subjects in education,” he continued. “But as a musician, I am always disappointed if this comes at the expense of the arts. From my experience, we need people that fully appreciate both.”